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1.  The Neuropathies of Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia (WM) and IgM-MGUS 
Neuropathy is common in Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia (WM, an IgM-associated lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma) and in IgM-monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (IgM-MGUS). Paraneoplastic or paraimmune mechanisms are thought to be involved in the pathogenesis of these neuropathies. Attempts at distinguishing WM and IgM-MGUS neuropathies are lacking especially among bone marrow (BM) confirmed patients.
Retrospective analyses were performed on BM confirmed WM (N=30) and IgM-MGUS (N=73) neuropathy patients with neurologic assessments and hematologic features.
The presence of anemia and quantity of IgM monoclonal protein were significantly greater in WM. Based on multiple neurologic assessments differences were not found for: 1) length of time from neurologic symptom onset to evaluation; 2) chief complaint of painless loss of feeling in the feet, Romberg’s sign and tremor; and 3) clinical motor, sensory and reflex abnormalities. Autonomic testing was normal in both diseases. Using nerve conduction (NCS) criteria for demyelination, 62% of IgM-MGUS and 27% of WM met this criteria (p=0.013). IgM MGUS patients had greater terminal conduction slowing by ulnar residual latency calculation (<0.01). The degree of axonal loss as measured by summated compound muscle action potentials and available nerve biopsy was not significantly different between diseases.
Although WM and IgM-MGUS must be distinguished for hematologic prognosis and treatment, clinical neuropathy presentations of WM and IgM-MGUS are similar and likely related to comparable axonal loss in both conditions. Despite these similarities, evidence of demyelination was found by electrophysiologic studies much more commonly in IgM-MGUS. This difference may reflect varied immune mechanism(s) in the two disorders.
PMCID: PMC3901797  PMID: 21320835
2.  A Controlled Study of Medial Arterial Calcification of Legs 
Archives of Neurology  2011;68(10):1290-1294.
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is associated with an increased prevalence of peripheral arterial disease and medial arterial calcification (MAC), possibly related to prevalence and severity of diabetic polyneuropathy (DPN).
To assess the prevalence, risk covariates, and implication of MAC in a controlled study of healthy subjects and patients with DM.
Masked evaluation of radiographs.
Olmsted County, Minnesota.
Ambulatory volunteers with DM from the Rochester Diabetic Neuropathy Study cohort (n=260) and matched healthy subjects from the Rochester Diabetic Neuropathy Study–Healthy Subject cohort (n=221).
Patients and controls underwent standard radiographs of distal legs and feet from January 1, 1995, through December 31, 2002. The radiographs were independently read by masked, experienced radiologists for vessel calcification. Medial arterial calcification prevalence, risk covariates, correlation with peripheral arterial disease, and implication for distal, length-dependent sensorimotor polyneuropathy (DSPN) were studied.
Of 481 study participants, MAC was found in 66 (13.7%): 55 of 260 (21.2%) in patients with DM and 11 of 221 (5.0%) in healthy subjects (P<.001). Inter-rater agreement of MAC was 94.1% (κ coefficient of 0.7). Medial arterial calcification was significantly associated with DSPN (P<.001). In stepwise logistic regression analysis, the significant risk covariates for MAC were advancing age, male sex, DM, and stage of microvessel disease (retinopathy).
Medial arterial calcification of legs was approximately 4 times as prevalent in population-representative ambulatory persons with DM as in healthy subjects. Advancing age, male sex, DM, and retinopathy were the significant risk covariates for MAC of legs. Medial arterial calcification of legs, although significantly associated with DSPN, was not a useful surrogate marker of DSPN. Also, MAC was not shown to be a risk covariate for late worsening of DSPN, although other lines of evidence suggest that peripheral arterial disease may worsen DSPN.
PMCID: PMC3271858  PMID: 21987542

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