The clinical aspects of biclonal gammopathies. Review of 57 cases

Am J Med. 1981 Dec;71(6):999-1008. doi: 10.1016/0002-9343(81)90326-0.


Between 1966 and 1979, biclonal gammopathy was recognized in 57 patients. Clinical and laboratory features differentiated three groups: biclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, 37 cases (65 percent); multiple myeloma, nine cases (16 percent); and lymphoproliferative disease--including lymphoma, macroglobulinemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and unclassified lymphoproliferative disorders--11 cases (19 percent). With biclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, symptomatic multiple myeloma developed after two years in one patient; the others remained stable. One patient with multiple myeloma had osteosclerotic myeloma and a severe sensorimotor peripheral neuropathy, and another presented with plasma cell leukemia. In the remainder response to therapy and survival were much the same as in patients with multiple myeloma with a monoclonal protein. Patients with lymphoproliferative disease responded to chemotherapy like that for monoclonal gammopathy. Of the 57 patients, 30 (53 percent) had IgG and IgA components, 15 (26 percent) had IgG and IgM, six had two IgG components, three had IgA and IgM, one had IgA proteins, one had IgA and IgE and 1 had triclonal gammopathy. Of the 115 light chains, 70 percent were kappa; the chains were both kappa and lambda in 63 percent of biclonal pairs. In many cases, serum electrophoresis produced only a single band on the acetate strip, and the biclonal gammopathy was not recognized until immunoelectrophoresis was done. Although the clinical features of biclonal gammopathy and its response to therapy are similar to those of monoclonal gammopathy, this subject is of importance because of the lack of clinical data in the literature.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypergammaglobulinemia / diagnosis*
  • Immunoglobulin A / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin Light Chains / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin M / analysis
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / diagnosis*
  • Prognosis


  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains
  • Immunoglobulin Light Chains
  • Immunoglobulin M