RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Myelin modifications in 8 cases of peripheral neuropathy with Waldenström's macroglobulinemia and anti-MAG activity.

Characteristic myelin modifications in patients with IgM monoclonal gammopathy and anti-MAG activity have mainly been studied in cases of undetermined significance, but also exist in cases with indolent Waldenström's macroglobulinemia, i.e., when lymphoplasmocytic infiltration in bone marrow is 15% or more, without any visceral involvement. Since 1983, the authors have examined nerve biopsies from 8 cases with Waldenström's macroglobulinelia by direct immunofluorescence examination on frozen sections and ultrastructural examination. At direct immunofluorescence, fixation of anti-IgM serum on myelinated fibers was present in 7 cases. At ultrastructural examination, a widening of some myelin lamellae at the periphery of a few fibers was visible in 8 cases. A few fibers with hypermyelination were present in 5 cases. In 2 of these 5 cases widening of some myelin lamellae was present in numerous fibers, 88% in one of them. Frequently, there was a major widening of some myelin lamellae with dilated lamellae present in the inner part of the myelin sheath. Certain lamellae were more dilated, up to 50 nm. Occasionally, enlarged lamellae were not compacted with each other. The authors also examined nerve biopsies from 36 patients with IgM monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance and anti-MAG activity, but found only one case with major widening of some myelin lamellae. Five other cases with major widening of some myelin lamellae, 4 Waldenström's macroglobulinemia and 1 IgM monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, have been reported. Given that demyelinating neuropathies are far more numerous in cases with IgM monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, it is likely that cases of indolent Waldenström's macroglobulinemia are prone to develop major myelin modifications, possibly due to another mechanism, added to the classic anti-MAG activity.

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