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Hyperviscosity retinopathy as the initial presentation of aggressive multiple myeloma

Hua‑Hsuan Kuoa, Elizabeth P. Shena,b*

aDepartment of Ophthalmology, Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, New Taipei, Taiwan, bSchool of Medicine, Tzu Chi University, Hualien, Taiwan

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Open Access funded by Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation



Multiple myeloma (MM) is a hematologic malignancy resulting from the uncontrolled proliferation of neoplastic plasma cells and the excessive production of monoclonal immunoglobulins, both of which may lead to hyperviscosity retinopathy. Here, we present a 56‑year‑old male who had progressive painless loss of vision for 1 month. Ophthalmic examination revealed hyperviscosity retinopathy with bilateral central retinal vein occlusion‑like appearance. Hematologic assessment revealed immunoglobulin A MM. Although the patient was treated with chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation soon after referral, he did not survive due to the aggressive course of the disease. We highlight the importance of the ophthalmic presentation of MM. Early recognition and referral to an oncologist can lead to timely diagnosis and appropriate management.


Keywords: Bilateral central retinal vein occlusion, Hyperviscosity retinopathy, Multiple myeloma



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