Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, Waldenström macroglobulinemia, AL amyloidosis, and related plasma cell disorders: diagnosis and treatment

Mayo Clin Proc. 2006 May;81(5):693-703. doi: 10.4065/81.5.693.


The spectrum of plasma cell disorders is broad. Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance and smoldering multiple myeloma are asymptomatic disorders characterized by monoclonal plasma cell proliferation in the bone marrow in the absence of end-organ damage. Waldenström macroglobulinemia typically involves an ontogenically less mature lymphoplasmacytic bone marrow cell and is characterized by secretion of a monoclonal IgM protein. Solitary plasmacytoma is the only known potentially curable plasma cell disorder. Finally, AL (immunoglobulin light chain) amyloidosis and POEMS (polyneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, monoclonal gammopathy, and skin changes) syndrome are disorders characterized by low tumor burden but profound multisystemic disease. Updated diagnostic criteria for these disorders, risk stratification models to determine prognosis, and the current management of these diverse entitles are discussed in this review.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amyloidosis* / diagnosis
  • Amyloidosis* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Light Chains / physiology
  • Paraproteinemias* / diagnosis
  • Paraproteinemias* / therapy
  • Plasmacytoma / diagnosis
  • Plasmacytoma / therapy
  • Prognosis


  • Immunoglobulin Light Chains