Pathogenesis and management of bleeding and thrombosis in plasma cell dyscrasias

Br J Haematol. 2009 Apr;145(2):151-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.2008.07577.x. Epub 2009 Feb 4.


Unexpectedly high rates of venous thromboembolic events (VTE) concurrent with the introduction of highly effective immune modulating drugs thalidomide and lenolidomide for treatment of multiple myeloma have focused attention on the incidence and underlying pathophysiology of VTE in patients with plasma cell dyscrasias, and on thromboprophylaxis approaches. While bleeding complications are relatively uncommon in patients with lymphoproliferative disorders, acquired von Willebrand syndrome, typically occurring in patients with monoclonal gammopathy of unknown significance, and acquired coagulopathies associated with primary amyloidosis can present with haemorrhagic complications and both are challenging to manage. This review highlights these important haemostasis-related complications of plasma cell dyscrasias and provides an overview of other uncommon bleeding and thrombotic events that can affect diagnostic and therapeutic management of clonal plasma cell disorders. Due to the infrequency of most of these haemostasis complications, available information is typically based on retrospective cases or series.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Coagulation Disorders / complications
  • Blood Coagulation Disorders / drug therapy
  • Blood Platelet Disorders / complications
  • Blood Platelet Disorders / drug therapy
  • Boronic Acids / therapeutic use
  • Bortezomib
  • Hemorrhage / drug therapy
  • Hemorrhage / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / adverse effects
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Paraproteinemias / complications*
  • Paraproteinemias / drug therapy
  • Protease Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Pyrazines / therapeutic use
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thalidomide / adverse effects
  • Thalidomide / therapeutic use
  • Thrombosis / drug therapy
  • Thrombosis / etiology*


  • Boronic Acids
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Protease Inhibitors
  • Pyrazines
  • Thalidomide
  • Bortezomib