MGUS or monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance is a state in which an atypical protein is present in the blood. This protein is made by the atypical plasma cells in the bone marrow.

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What Is The Major Cause Of MGUS Or Monoclonal Gammopathy Of Undetermined Significance?

The particular cause of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance is yet unknown. However, it is speculated that some genetic changes, environmental influences and some infections might be responsible for this condition.

Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance is seen to be occurring when some atypical plasma cells make a protein called as M protein or paraprotein or monoclonal protein. Though these plasma cells are abnormal, they are not cancerous. However, if a huge quantity of this M protein gets collected, it crowds out the healthy and functioning cells in the bone marrow and can lead to damage to other tissues in the body.

Risk Factors For MGUS Or Monoclonal Gammopathy Of Undetermined Significance

There are certain factors which may increase the risk of getting MGUS. These factors may include-

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Age- while there is no particular age for getting affected by this condition, it is seen that on an average the age at the time of diagnosis for most persons is around 70 years

Sex- it is seen that this condition affects men more than women

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Race- it is seen that this condition affects Africans and African -Americans the most, or more so than white people. The incidences for other races is not known clearly yet.

History- If there are other persons in your family suffering from this disorder, then you are comparatively at a higher risk of getting this condition than those who do not have a family history.

Complications Of MGUS Or Monoclonal Gammopathy Of Undetermined Significance

A small number of people suffering from MGUS may go on to develop some severe conditions. These conditions that one may develop usually depend upon the kind of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance that one suffers from. These may include-

Non-IgM MGUS-

  • The commonest kind of MGUS and the one having the most potential risk for progressing into multiple myeloma
  • Less commonly, it can progress to other disorders like light chain deposition disease or amyloidosis

IgM MGUS-

  • This kind can progress to a rare form of cancer known as waldenstrom macroglobulinemia
  • Less commonly, it can lead to multiple myeloma, lymphoma and amyloidosis

Light chain MGUS-

  • This is a new type added to the classification
  • In this kind, a certain type of M protein is present in the urine
  • This is also known as Bence Jones proteinuria
  • This kind can also lead to light chain deposition disease or light chain multiple myeloma
  • The chance of developing other serious conditions depends upon many factors like-
  • The kind and the size of the m proteins in the blood
  • The quantity of another kind of small protein called as free light chain, present in your blood
  • The age of the person at the time of the diagnosis of teyh condition. The more time you have been suffering from MGUS the greater is your risk of getting a more serious disorder

Treatment Of MGUS Or Monoclonal Gammopathy Of Undetermined Significance

Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance usually does not produce any signs and symptoms. Hence, it does not require any treatment in most cases. However, your doctor will most likely ask you to get regular follow-ups.

Waiting Window- If your doctor suspects you to be at a high risk of getting other serious disorders, he will recommend regular follow-ups. He will watch for other signs and symptoms like-

  • Pain
  • Fever
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Night sweats
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness or giddiness
  • Changes in hearing or vision or both
  • Nerve pain
  • Bleeding
  • Blood abnormalities like anemia and such
  • Kidney or heart problems

The exact cause of MGUS is not known. However, there is a speculation that genetic changes, environmental influence and certain infections may be responsible for causing this condition. Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance does not go away; however, most cases do not require any treatment.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: February 14, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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