Severe amyloidosis with mild multiple myeloma--an unusual course.Haematologia (Budap). 2000; 30(1):55-9.H
Amyloidosis may be primary or myeloma-associated. Skeletal lesions and the percentage of bone marrow plasma cells (<10% in primary, >20% in myeloma) account for the major differences between the two varieties. In the literature there are rare cases of primary amyloidosis presenting without myeloma and followed by development of myelomatous manifestations. Usually, the primary disease (i.e. the myeloma) is advanced, when amyloidosis is diagnosed. We describe a patient who had presented with a severe and progressive systemic amyloidosis and was diagnosed later to have a mild light chain myeloma. Aggressive treatment with melphalan, prednisone and colchicine resulted in a temporary partial remission, followed by a rapid downhill course, and the patient's death. The point of relatively mild myeloma following a rapidly progressive course of advanced amyloidosis is emphasized. Awareness of the possibility of such a combination may lead to early diagnosis, a more aggressive or novel therapeutic approach and, possibly, to a better prognosis.