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Clinical features, laboratory manifestations, and diagnosis of multiple myeloma

S Vincent Rajkumar, MD
Section Editor
Robert A Kyle, MD
Deputy Editor
Rebecca F Connor, MD


Multiple myeloma (MM) is characterized by the neoplastic proliferation of plasma cells producing a monoclonal immunoglobulin. The plasma cells proliferate in the bone marrow and often results in extensive skeletal destruction with osteolytic lesions, osteopenia, and/or pathologic fractures. The diagnosis of MM is often suspected because of one (or more) of the following clinical presentations:

Bone pain with lytic lesions discovered on routine skeletal films or other imaging modalities

An increased total serum protein concentration and/or the presence of a monoclonal protein in the urine or serum

Systemic signs or symptoms suggestive of malignancy, such as unexplained anemia

Hypercalcemia, which is either symptomatic or discovered incidentally

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Nov 22, 2017.
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