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Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia; Macroglobulinemia - primary; Lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma
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.
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.
Treon SP, Hatjiharissi E, Leleu X, Roccaro A, Merlini G. Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia/Lymphoplasmacytic Lymphoma. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ, Shattil SS, et al, eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2008:chap 88.
Rajkumar SV, Kyle RA. Plasma cell disorders. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 198.
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