Monoclonal Gammopathy

by Michael_Koger

Monoclonal gammopathies are medical conditions in which there are abnormal proteins in the bloodstream.

Monoclonal gammopathies are infirmities for which the cause is not known. The most common form is monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). Some researchers have suggested that it may originate from infection, immune system disease, or environment. Despite the presence of the abnormal proteins, there is no evidence that dietary intake leads to this [1, 2].

The occurrence of MGUS does not suggest that first-degree relatives have it as well. Specifically, there is no need to screen siblings or children who have a relation to the patient. It is also true that individuals with the illness are free of any clinical signs or symptoms [1, 2].

Origin of Abnormal Proteins

     The proteins in these clients come from plasma cells of the bone marrow.  Even though these patients are at risk for diseases of the blood or bone marrow, they do not have cancer from it.  However, they may progress to myeloma or lymphoproliferative disorders. Hence, the clinician must follow the patient every year.  The frequency of office visits will, of course, depend on the severity of it [1, 2].

     In essence, these cases have to do with production of a monoclonal protein or M-protein.  Should progression take place, the patient develops malignancy of the blood. In any event, MGUS is especially common in elderly men as well as Africans and African-Americans.  Three to four percent of the population who are at least 50 years old have it. The risk of malignant transformation is less than one percent annually [1, 2].

    Most diagnoses of MGUS happen in offices where internal medicine specialists perform the evaluations.  One important concern is that a client without symptoms can change at any time and develop something abnormal.  In other words, the patient can progress to an abnormal situation, and this requires a clinical evaluation prior to the next office visit [1, 2].

    Nevertheless, the occurrence of MGUS otherwise does not require any treatment.  The outpatient examinations will detect it should that take place. Of those who become ill, the individual can develop Waldenström macroglobulinemia, primary amyloidosis, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and, of course, multiple myeloma.  Other possibilities include plasma cell leukemia and solitary plasmacytoma [1, 2].



     In conclusion, monoclonal gammopathies are interesting medical conditions which require a skilled physician to make the diagnosis and manage it in the best fashion.



  1. Khouri, J., Samaras, C., Valent, J. et al.  (2019). Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance:  A primary care guide. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, 86, 39-46.

  2. University of Rochester Medical Center.  (2019). Monoclonal gammopathies.  Retrieved January 12, 2019.

  3. Copyright 2019.  Michael Koger, Sr.  All rights reserved.


     The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and one should not use it for diagnosis or treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact their physician for advice.


Updated: 01/15/2019, Michael_Koger
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