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Spring 2005 Volume 6, Issue 4:
Did You Know: What Causes Hyperviscosity in Multiple Myeloma?
Viscosity is the property of fluid to resist flow. In myeloma patients, hyperviscosity (increased serum viscosity) results from increased levels of circulating serum immunoglobulins.
06.09.05

Viscosity is the property of fluid to resist flow. In myeloma patients, hyperviscosity (increased serum viscosity) results from increased levels of circulating serum immunoglobulins. The hyperviscosity seen in multiple myeloma is not due to myeloma cells in the blood stream. Proteins do not dissolve in a solution; they form a colloid which suspends the proteins within the moving bloodstream like sediment in a river. The more protein in a liquid, the more likely it is that the liquid will be viscous. The proteins (or protein parts) found in myeloma can vary in size. If IgG, IgE, or IgD are thought of as single units, then IgA is a double unit, and IgM is a pentamer (or 5-unit structure). If you have the entire protein present, hyperviscosity is most likely if you have excess IgM and least likely if you have an excess IgG, IgE, or IgD.


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