Uncommon presentations of multiple myeloma


Internal Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago/Advocate Christ Medical Center


Multiple myeloma is a rare malignancy that exhibits a wide range of possible clinical presentations. In recent years, with the advent of stem cell transplantation, the prognosis of patients with multiple myeloma has been increasing. We searched the literature for reports of atypical myeloma presentations to aid clinicians in formulating differential diagnoses and to increase the number of cases diagnosed early. There have been a number of reports of early ocular symptoms, including, but not limited to, proptosis, optic neuropathy, vision loss, retinal hemorrhage, and detachment. Neurological presentations included cranial nerve palsies, vertigo related to cerebellar involvement, and diabetes insipidus related to pituitary involvement. Among gastrointestinal manifestations, there are a number of reports of multiple myeloma presenting as acute and chronic pancreatitis. Mesenteric ischemia due to amyloidosis, acute abdomen, and hepatosplenomegaly were also among reported presentations. When it comes to renal involvement, while acute renal failure and proteinuria are typical, there are reports of patients presenting with both nephritic and nephrotic forms of glomerular disease, as well as end-stage renal disease requiring dialysis. We believe that it is essential for clinicians to keep reporting atypical multiple myeloma presentations and consider it as a possible diagnosis in a patient with serious, atypical symptoms.

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