Multiple myeloma (extraosseous manifestations)

Extraosseous myeloma refers to any manifestation of multiple myeloma where there is plasma cell proliferation outside the skeletal system. This can potentially affect any organ system and the reported disease spectrum includes:

  • reticulo-endothelial system
    • lymph nodes (considered to be most common site 1)
  • central nervous system (CNS) involvement independent of bone is thought to occur in less than 1% of multiple myeloma 1
    • leptomeningeal involvement: considered the commonest form of CNS involvement
  • thorax
    • lung
      • pulmonary nodules
      • interstitial infiltrates
    • pleura
      • can manifest as a pleural effusion or pleural thickening
  • abdomen
    • liver
      • thought to be most common solid organ involved in the abdomen 7
      • involvement of the liver can occur as diffuse sinusoidal infiltration or as distinct nodules
    • mesenteric: omental masses
    • pancreas
    • renal involvement
      • peri-renal space: can a relatively common occurrence in the abdomen 10
        • peri-renal nodules: can mimic melanoma metastases 3
        • peri-renal soft tissue thickening
      • intra-renal lesions
  • other sites
    • subcutaneous tissues
    • skin
    • breast tissue
    • testis 7
    • orbit 5-6

The overall incidence is thought to be around 5-16% on those diagnosed with myeloma 3,7-8. It is considered to be more common in younger patients and in those with non secretory myeloma and IgD myeloma 3.

Imaging features are non-specific and widely variable dependent on site. The condition can mimic other pathologies.

General image interpretation guideline

When there is known background multiple myeloma, the development of focal soft-tissue masses should be considered highly suspicious for extraosseous myeloma. In particular, the development of extraosseous soft-tissue masses in a myeloma patient after stem cell transplantation should raise suspicion for extraosseous myeloma. It is important to know if there is more than one lesion.

In most cases, especially patients with a coexisting malignancy, tissue diagnosis is often considered essential.

The presence of extraosseous myeloma generally implies a poorer prognosis 3. More content required on treatment.

Extra-osseous myeloma can mimic a vast number of entities dependent on location.

If there is only one lesion and the lesion reveals myelomatous / plasma cells on biopsy, consider extramedullary plasmacytoma.

Share article

Article information

rID: 22379
System: Haematology
Section: Pathology
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Extraosseous myeloma
  • Extraskeletal myeloma
  • Extra-osseous myeloma
  • Extra-skeletal myeloma
  • Extra-osseous manifestations of myeloma
  • Extra-osseous skeletal manifestations of myeloma
  • Extraosseous multiple myeloma

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Updating… Please wait.
Loadinganimation

Alert accept

Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.