Acute complications in multiple myeloma
Multiple myeloma is a malignant disorder of plasma cells, characterized by uncontrolled and progressive proliferation of a single clone of plasma cells. The disease leads to progressive morbidity and eventual mortality by lowering resistance to infection and causing significant skeletal destruction with bone pain, pathological fractures and hypercalcemia. Improved understanding of the multiple myeloma biology along with the discovery of novel anti-myeloma agents has led to a better-quality treatment of these patients. However, it still remains an incurable disease for the vast majority of patients, with a median survival 2-3 years. Patients with multiple myeloma frequently develop complications that are reason for early mortality within 60 days of diagnosis. Acute complications such as hyperviscosity syndrome, hypercalcemia, spinal cord compression, early infection, bone disease and renal impairment may be life-threatening. The treatment of these medical emergencies has greatly decreased morbidity and early mortality in patients.
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