Fast Five Quiz: Waldenström Macroglobulinemia Complications

Emmanuel C. Besa, MD


February 01, 2021

Primary amyloidosis of the heart, kidney, liver, lungs, and joints is a rare complication of IgM gammopathies. If a patient presents with symptoms suggestive of the condition (neuropathy, nephrotic syndrome, or cardiac failure), then abdominal fat-pad needle aspiration, along with bone marrow biopsy, is recommended.

Other more common complications of WM include the following:

  • Hyperviscosity syndrome

  • Visual disturbances secondary to hyperviscosity syndrome

  • Diarrhea and malabsorption secondary to gastrointestinal (GI) involvement

  • Renal disease (less common)

  • Bleeding manifestations secondary to platelet dysfunction and coagulation factor and fibrinogen abnormalities due to interaction with plasma IgM

  • Peripheral neuropathy

  • Raynaud phenomenon secondary to cryoglobulinemia

  • Increased predisposition to infection due to B-cell dysfunction (disease related) or T-cell dysfunction (therapy related, particularly after nucleoside analogues)

  • Cardiac failure

  • Increased incidence of lymphomas, myelodysplasia, and leukemias

Learn more about complications of WM.


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