Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia is a malignant disease of white blood cells that secrete a specific immunoglobulin (antibody; IgM).
- Symptoms of WM include weakness, fatigue, weight loss and chronic oozing of blood from the nose and gums.
- Peripheral neuropathy can occur in 10% of patients. Lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly, and/or hepatomegaly are present in 30-40% of cases.
- Some symptoms are due to the effects of the IgM paraprotein, which may cause autoimmune phenomenon or cryoglobulinemia. Other symptoms of WM are due to the hyperviscosity syndrome, which is present in 6-20% of patients.
- This is attributed to the IgM monoclonal protein increasing the viscosity of the blood. Symptoms of this are mainly neurologic and can include blurring or loss of vision, headache, and (rarely) stroke or coma.