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Diagnostics of multiple myeloma

The following conditions should be investigated with regard to multiple myeloma:

  • Bone pain, anemia, and high SR
  • Recent kidney failure or hypercalcemia

Examinations performed when multiple myeloma is a possible diagnosis:

  • Blood tests: Hb, white blood cell differential count,thrombocytes, albumin, magnesium, ionized calcium, creatinine, urea, ß-2 microglobulin, proBNP, troponin T, ALP, INR, IgG, IgA, IgM, free light chains (kappa/lambda ratio).
  • Serum protein electrophoresis (Urine electrophoresis is only necessary if there is no detection of pathological FLC ratio or monoclonal component  by serum protein electrophoresis)
  • Bone marrow examinations: Aspirate smear and FISH. Biopsy.
  • Low-dose CT scan of skeleton. This means low-dose CT from knees to at least vertex.

Multiple myeloma is usually confirmed by the presence of monoclonal protein (M protein/paraprotein) in serum or urine and/or findings on X-ray, as well as increased number of plasma cells in the bone marrow.

Excluding other conditions with monoclonal immunoglobulin in serum, with or without increased number of plasma cells in bone marrow and primary amyloidosis, is sometimes difficult. The condition often requires observation and repeated examinations for a final diagnosis. It is also important to remember that most organ manifestations may have other causes and association with the plasma cell clone must be probable.

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