Thursday, July 31, 2014

Macroglobulinemia of Waldenstrom

Table of Contents

Definition

Macroglobulinemia of Waldenstrom is a cancer of the B lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell). It is associated with the overproduction of proteins called IgM antibodies.


Alternative Names

Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia; Macroglobulinemia - primary; Lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma


Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia is a result of a condition called lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma. The cause of the overproduction of the IgM antibody is unknown, but researchers believe it is made by lymphoma cells.

Overproduction of IgM causes the blood to become too thick. This is called hyperviscosity. It occasionally makes it harder for blood to flow through small blood vessels.

About 1,500 people in the United States are diagnosed with Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia every year. Most people with this condition are over age 65, however, it may occur in younger people.



Review Date: 04/30/2010
Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, M.D., Hematology/Oncology, Palm Beach Cancer Institute, West Palm Beach, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org)