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Information for patients and families
The increased number of B lymphocytes results in the production of high levels of IgM. This can ultimately cause the blood to become very thick, almost jelly-like, which prevents the normal, smooth blood flow throughout the body.
If there’s involvement of the retina, the inner lining of the eye, individuals may present with impaired or blurred vision.
Accumulation of B lymphocytes in the bone marrow can lead to anemia, which occurs when there aren’t enough red blood cells to deliver sufficient oxygen to body tissues.
As a result, individuals may experience fatigue and weakness. Patients may also experience tingling in the extremities, like fingers and toes.
Lastly, the immunoglobulins tend to accumulate in the lymph nodes, spleen, and liver, making these organs enlarge.
Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia, or Waldenstrom syndrome, is a rare type of malignant lymphoma that's characterized by the overproduction of an antibody called immunoglobulin M (IgM) in the blood, which can lead to hyperviscosity syndrome (thickening of the blood) and interferes with normal blood circulation.
Symptoms can include fatigue, weakness, an enlarged spleen or lymph nodes, and bleeding or clotting problems. Diagnosis is through blood tests, bone marrow biopsy, and other imaging studies. Treatment options depend on the severity of the disease, as well as the patient's overall health and other individual factors. Options may include chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunomodulatory drugs, stem cell transplantation, and supportive care.
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