Paraproteinemia associated with demyelinating polyneuropathy or myositis: treatment with plasmapheresis and immunosuppressive drugs

Artif Organs. 1985 Feb;9(1):47-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1594.1985.tb04346.x.


Four patients with chronic, progressive demyelinating peripheral polyneuropathy were found to have paraproteinemia. Two of the patients had multiple myeloma [both immunoglobulin (Ig)G lambda]. The other two had benign gammopathies: one of IgG kappa type and the other one with marked polyclonal elevation of IgM. Immunofluorescence studies revealed deposits of the abnormal serum immunoglobulin along the myelin sheaths in two of the patients in whom sural nerve biopsies were performed. All four patients were treated with plasmapheresis in combination with immunosuppressive drugs. Favorable responses to the therapy was observed in all four patients, but the degree of response varied from patient to patient. Two patients who presented clinical and electromyographic findings consistent with polymyositis were found to have serum IgG kappa M components. Immunofluorescence studies performed on muscle biopsy material from both patients revealed deposits of the abnormal serum paraprotein along the sarcolemmal basement membrane. A treatment course of plasmapheresis and immunosuppressive drugs resulted in a sustained increase of muscle strength in both patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Azathioprine / therapeutic use
  • Cyclophosphamide / therapeutic use
  • Demyelinating Diseases / drug therapy
  • Demyelinating Diseases / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myositis / drug therapy
  • Myositis / therapy*
  • Paraproteinemias / drug therapy
  • Paraproteinemias / therapy*
  • Plasmapheresis*
  • Prednisone / therapeutic use


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Azathioprine
  • Prednisone