Which physical findings are characteristic of extramedullary plasmacytoma (EMP)?

Updated: Mar 10, 2021
  • Author: Suzanne R Fanning, DO; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Although extramedullary plasmacytoma (EMP) can occur in any site, 80-90% of tumors develop in the head and neck area, especially in the aerodigestive tract. Approximately 80% of cases involve the paranasal sinuses, pharynx, nasal cavity, or gums and oral mucosa. [10, 13, 3, 15, 16]  A mass (plasmacytoma) in these areas is the most common finding, with compression or invasion of the surrounding structures. Patients with tumors involving the base of the skull may present with cranial nerve palsies.

Case reports describe involvement of the following [10, 13, 3, 15, 16, 32] :

  • Urinary bladder
  • Central nervous system
  • Orbit,
  • Gastrointestinal tract
  • Liver
  • Spleen
  • Pancreas
  • Lung
  • Breast,
  • Skin
  • Testis
  • Parotid gland
  • Mediastinum
  • Thyroid gland (associated with goiter and Hashimoto thyroiditis)

In 30-40% of cases, local lymph nodes are involved at presentation or upon relapse. [14]

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