EDTA Lavender top tube (LTT)
ACD Yellow top tube (YTT)
Multiple myeloma is a hematologic neoplasm that generally originates in the bone marrow and develops from malignant plasma cells. There are four main categories of plasma cell proliferative disorders (PCPD): monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), monoclonal immunoglobulin deposition diseases (amyloidosis), plasmacytoma, and multiple myeloma. MGUS, which occurs in 3% to 4% of individuals over age 50 years, represents the identification of an asymptomatic monoclonal protein, yet approximately 1% per year will progress to multiple myeloma. Amyloidosis represents a rare group of deposition disorders including primary amyloidosis vs. light chain and heavy chain disease. Plasmacytomas represent isolated collections of bone or extramedullary plasma cells with a risk for development of multiple myeloma. Generalized bone pain, anemia, limb numbness or weakness, symptoms of hypercalcemia, and recurrent infections are all symptoms that may indicate multiple myeloma.
As myeloma progresses, the malignant plasma cells interfere with normal blood product formation in the bone marrow resulting in anemia and leukopenia. Myeloma also causes an overstimulation of osteoclasts, causing excessive breakdown of bone tissue without the normal corresponding bone formation. These bone lesions are seen in approximately 66% of myeloma patients. In advanced disease, bone loss may reach a degree where the patient suffers fractures easily.
Multiple myeloma is increasingly recognized as a disease characterized by marked cytogenetic, molecular, and proliferative heterogeneity. This heterogeneity is manifested clinically by varying degrees of disease aggressiveness. Multiple myeloma patients with more aggressive disease experience suboptimal responses to some therapeutic approaches; therefore, identifying these patients is critically important for selecting appropriate treatment options.