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This unit primarily includes plasma cell morphology and other laboratory features found in the various plasma cell dyscrasias. The main function of the plasma cell is to synthesize and secrete antibodies. Plasma cell dyscrasias are characterized by the proliferation of a single clone of plasma cells that produces a homogeneous monoclonal immunoglobulin (Ig) protein. A monoclonal Ig is associated most often with a condition called benign monoclonal gammopathy (BMG), or gammopathy of unknown significance. The majority of patients with malignant plasma cell dyscrasia have multiple myeloma (MM), a tumor of the bone marrow that involves multiple sites. The clinical staging of MM will be presented here. Nonmalignant plasma cell dyscrasias, which can be recognized by their clinical and laboratory features, will be covered briefly. Secondary plasmacytosis also will be demonstrated.

Course Section: 10. Plasma Cell Dyscrasias
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