Kahler's disease

February 2017


Definition


Kahler's disease, also called "multiple myeloma", is a malignant disease of the bone marrow. It is caused by the proliferation of plasma cells, a variety of white blood cells, specialized in the production of immunoglobulins, proteins with antibody activity. This condition is typically seen in people aged over 50 and is more common in men than in women.

Symptoms


Kahler's disease can take very different forms and clinical signs vary greatly from one individual to another. Symptoms of Kahler's disease can be expressed as:
  • bone pain in 7 cases out of 10, mainly affecting the spine and ribs;
  • spontaneous bone fractures;
  • pallor, signs of anemia;
  • repeated infections, especially of the lung;
  • severe fatigue;
  • weight loss.

Some signs are not clinically visible, but are frequently present such as kidney failure and increased levels of calcium in the blood.

Diagnosis


Kahler's disease is suspected in the presence of the above clinical signs and blood tests are often initially performed and confirm the suspicion: a decrease in the amount of hemoglobin, calcium and an increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), a marker of inflammation, are observed. The diagnosis of Kahler's disease is made after electrophoresis, a technique that involves separating blood proteins based on their electrical charge. This approach reveals an increase in a particular type of antibody. Another way to confirm the diagnosis, is by conducting an analysis of the bone marrow of the sternum: a proliferation of plasma cells can be noted. Imaging tests (radio, CT, MRI) may also be of interest in assessing the disease.

Treatment


Kahler's disease cannot be cured by medication. However, some drugs improve the quality of life of patients and prevent the occurrence of complications such as bisphosphonates. Treatment is most often by chemotherapy associated with a transplant. Radiation therapy is sometimes used to combat bone pain.

Related

Original article published by . Translated by Jeff. Latest update on November 20, 2013 at 09:16 PM by Crashounette.
This document, titled "Kahler's disease," is available under the Creative Commons license. Any copy, reuse, or modification of the content should be sufficiently credited to CCM Health (health.ccm.net).