Objective: Patients with light chain–predominant multiple myeloma have been shown to exhibit shorter survival. Retrospective comparison of clinical and laboratory data was undertaken to ascertain the likely cause(s) of this observation. Methods: Records of patients with multiple myeloma seen at 1 institution revealed 316 patients with conventional and 71 patients with light chain–predominant multiple myelomas with secretion of intact immunoglobulins. Laboratory and clinical findings in the 2 groups were compared. Results: Patients with light chain–predominant multiple myeloma had a significantly higher death rate, a higher rate of chronic dialysis, a lower estimated glomerular filtration rate and serum albumin, a significantly higher urine protein concentration, and a significantly higher prevalence of hypertension and blood transfusion requirements. Other clinical and laboratory parameters surveyed were not significantly different between the 2 groups. Conclusion: The shorter survival of patients with light chain–predominant multiple myeloma is clearly associated with renal damage caused by excess free immunoglobulin light chains. Renal damage may be ameliorated by early aggressive treatment with chemotherapy, plasmapheresis, and dialysis; a multi-institutional prospective controlled trial would be needed to test this hypothesis.
- cast nephropathy
- light chain-predominant multiple myeloma
- multiple myeloma
- serum free light chains
ASJC Scopus subject areas