Disease Information for Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia: Definition

  • A rare cancer of the lymph cells that causes the body to produce abnormal levels of plasma cells (plasmacytosis) and lymphocytes (lymphocytosis) in the bone marrow; Waldenstrom"s macroglobulinemia may also cause a decrease in red blood cells (anemia) and enlargement of the liver (hepatomegaly), spleen (splenomegaly), or glands (adenopathy)------------------------------------Waldenstrom"s Macroglobulinemia; Hyperglobulinemic Purpura;

    Macroglobulinemia; Waldenstroem"s Macroglobulinemia;

    Waldenstrom"s Purpura; Waldenstrom"s Syndrome;

    Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia (WMG) is a malignant disorder of the blood and lymph, characterized by the excess production of large antibodies (macroglobulins) by plasma cells and/or abnormal lymphocytes; Large numbers of these lymphocytes, combined with abnormal immunoglobulin-M (Ig-M), grow in the bone marrow cavity; In its early stages, it is termed a monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS); These disorders, monoclonal gammopathies or plasma cell dyscrasias, are characterized as the uncontrolled growth of a single clone (monoclonal) of plasma cells, which results in the abnormal accumulation of M-proteins (also known as immunoglobulin M or lgM) in the blood; M-proteins are supposed to fight foreign substances in the body such as viruses and bacteria; MGUS means that the synthesis of normal immunoglobulins by a particular line of cells is disrupted, resulting in the production of abnormal proteins; This condition, at least at the outset, usually requires no treatment until symptoms appear, sometimes years after diagnosis---------[NORD 2005]--------------------