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February 13, 1981

Late Report of the First Case of Plasmapheresis for Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Internal Medicine, the Western Montana Clinic, Missoula.

JAMA. 1981;245(6):606-607. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03310310048023

PLASMAPHERESIS for hyperviscosity syndrome of Waldenström's macroglobulinemia has become standard treatment since the first report by Skoog and Adams1 in 1959. Their patient received a 15-day course of plasmapheresis in November 1957. This is a tardy report of a case of Waldenström's macroglobulinemia treated by plasmapheresis at the University of Minnesota Hospitals in September 1956, twenty-four years ago.

Report of a Case  A 63-year-old man was admitted to the hospital on Aug 23, 1956, with a chief complaint of progressive deterioration of vision. He was unable to recognize persons or objects. He also complained of progressive dyspnea on exertion, recurrent chills and fever for several years, bruising, and gingival bleeding. Anemia had been present for five years. On physical examination, there was splenomegaly and cardiomegaly. Changes noted on funduscopic examination consisted of hemorrhages, exudates, and noticeable venous distention.Abnormalities in laboratory results included a hemoglobin level of 6.1 g/dL;