Dr. Ansell on Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia Symptoms

Dr. Stephen Ansell from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota Describes Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia Symptoms

Stephen Ansell, MD, PhD, professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, describes the symptoms associated with Waldenström Macroglobulinemia (WM), an indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma caused when lymphoplasmacytic cells multiply abnormally.

The symptoms of WM include a palpable enlargement or swelling in the liver, lymph nodes, or spleen caused by the disease's origin in the immune system. The direct cause of the immune system overproduction is unknown, but a possible link to hereditary genetics has been made.

A common side effect of WM is hyperviscosity syndrome that is caused by high serum levels of the protein immunoglobulin M (IgM), produced by the overactive lymphoplasmacytic cells. Excess of this large protein causes the blood to be thicker and prevents oxygen from reaching organs, fingertips, eyes, and the brain, causing organ dysfunction.