Monoclonal Gammopathy

Unusual Manifestations of Monoclonal Gammopathy: I. Ocular Disease

Sophia R. Balderman and Marshall A. Lichtman


Essential monoclonal gammopathy is usually an asymptomatic condition, the characteristics of which have been defined over approximately 70 years of study. It has a known population-attributable risk of undergoing clonal evolution to a progressive, symptomatic B-cell neoplasm. In a very small fraction of patients, the monoclonal immunoglobulin has biophysical characteristics that can lead to tissue deposition syndrome (e.g. Fanconi renal syndrome) or, by chance, have characteristics of an autoantibody that may inactivate critical proteins (e.g. acquired von Willebrand disease). In this report, we describe the very uncommon forms of ocular injury that may accompany essential monoclonal gammopathy, which include crystalline keratopathy, crystal-storing histiocytosis, hypercupremic keratopathy, and maculopathy. The first three syndromes result from uncommon physicochemical alterations of the monoclonal immunoglobulin that favor crystallization or exaggerated copper binding. The last-mentioned syndrome is of uncertain pathogenesis. These syndromes may result in decreased visual acuity. These ocular findings may lead, also, to the diagnosis of monoclonal gammopathy.

Rambam Maimonides Med J 2015;6(3):e0026