NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia, Version 1.2017
These three techniques check the type of
immunoglobulin and amount in your blood. This
is done by looking at the sample on a gel. Other
immunoglobulins are IgA, IgG, IgD, and IgE. They
can also be found with these tests. For example,
with LPL other immunoglobulins besides IgM may be
seen at diagnosis.
Viscosity measures how thick the blood can be. High
levels of IgM in the blood will cause the blood to
be thick and not flow right. This test can be helpful
when WM and hyperviscosity is suspected. Your
doctor will check if the thickness of the blood is high;
oise) is the unit of measurement related
to thickness of the blood. People with WM may
have symptoms when the level is above 4 cP. If the
levels of IgM are too high, you may need immediate
treatment to relieve symptoms. Many doctors chose
to just follow the IgM level since it takes time to get
serum viscosity levels back. Sometimes, this level
may not be reliable.
Guide 3. Imaging tests
What is your doctor checking?
low-dose radiation to take one picture at a time. • Your lymph nodes and other organs.
high-energy sound waves make pictures. • Your lymph nodes and other organs.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan-
waves and strong magnets make detailed pictures.
• Your brain and spinal cord.
CT (computed tomography) scan-
x-rays are done
to take pictures from many angles.
• Your chest, abdomen, and pelvis.
◦◦ You can get dye (contrast material) for this type of
PET (positron emission tomography) scan-
detects disease and takes 3-D pictures.
• How your body is working. The tracer lights up in
certain areas where cells (can be cancer) are moving
Beta-2 microglobulin is a protein in the blood that
can be measured at diagnosis. This protein doesn’t
cause issues but helps the doctor learn how you
will respond to treatment. When it comes to making
decisions about treatment, more information from
research is needed on beta-2 microglobulin.
Imaging tests are used to take pictures (images) of
the inside of your body. Your doctor will want to check
the lymph nodes and other organs in your body.
Imaging is done to see if the cancer is in more than
one area. Imaging tests may also be done during or
after treatment to see how the body is responding.
Testing for WM