Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia
Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia Diagnosis

Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia Diagnosis

Initially diagnosing waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia can be difficult because there are few initial symptoms, in fact often routine blood work or examinations which return abnormal results provide the first indication. Swollen lymph-nodes, or enlarged organs such as the liver or the spleen may be discovered in a physical examination and could be indicators of waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia.

Blood tests can be used to indicate a number of factors that would lead to a waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia diagnosis. A high level of IgM in the blood stream is a distinguishing feature of the disease. Blood tests could also reveal hyper-viscosity which is a common problem with waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia.

A waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia diagnosis can also be made through the use of a bone marrow biopsy. For this a sample of bone marrow is taken from the patient through a needle which is examined under a microscope for indicators of waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia which are high levels of B-lymphocytes and plasma cells.

What Is Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia

Enlarged retinal blood vessels along with retinal bleeding are symptoms suffered by many patients with waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia and therefore regular eye examinations can often provide an early indication.

Following these initial indicators, further tests may be done to confirm a waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia diagnosis. A computed topography (CT, CAT) scan can be used, which examines whether there is any swelling of lymph-nodes, or swelling in the spleen or liver. Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia can be distinguished from multiple myeloma with the use of an x-ray of the skeleton know as a skeletal survey.