Diagnosis, risk stratification and management of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance and smoldering multiple myeloma

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S U M M A RY Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) is one of the most common premalignant disorders. IgG and IgA MGUS are precursor conditions of multiple myeloma (MM), whereas light-chain MGUS is a precursor condition of light-chain MM. Smoldering MM (SMM) is a precursor condition with higher tumor burden and higher risk of progression to symptomatic MM compared to MGUS. Assessment of the risk of progression of patients with asymptomatic monoclonal gammopathies is based on various factors including clonal burden, as well as biological char-acteristics, such as cytogenetic abnormalities and light-chain pro-duction. Several models have been constructed that are useful in daily practice for predicting risk of progression of MGUS or SMM. Importantly, the plasma cell clone may occasionally be responsible for severe organ damage through the production of a M-protein which deposits in tissues or has autoantibody activity. These disor-ders are rare and often require therapy directed at eradication of the underlying clone. Importantly, recent studies have shown that asymptomatic patients with a bone marrow plasma cell percentage ≥60%, free light-chain ratio ≥100, or >1 focal lesion on MRI (mye-loma-defining events) have a 80% risk of developing symptomatic MM within 2 years. These patients are now considered to have MM requiring therapy, similar to patients with symptomatic dis-ease. In this review, we provide an overview of the new diagnostic criteria of the monoclonal gammopathies and discuss risk of pro-gression to active MM. We also provide recommendations for the management of patients with MGUS and SMM including risk-adapted follow-up.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-122
Number of pages13
JournalInternational journal of laboratory hematology
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


  • Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance
  • diagnosis
  • management
  • multiple myeloma
  • smoldering multiple myeloma
  • treatment

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