Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
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Year : 1990  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 44-5  

Solitary extramedullary plasmacytoma (a case report).

S Ghildiyal, M Faria, R Gulati 
 Department of Surgery, V. N. Desai Hospital, Santacruz, Bombay, Maharashtra.

Correspondence Address:
S Ghildiyal
Department of Surgery, V. N. Desai Hospital, Santacruz, Bombay, Maharashtra.


Solitary plasmacytoma of the upper air and food passages is a rare tumour. This paper deals with such a case along with a brief account of the etiology, clinical features and therapeutic measures.

How to cite this article:
Ghildiyal S, Faria M, Gulati R. Solitary extramedullary plasmacytoma (a case report). J Postgrad Med 1990;36:44-5

How to cite this URL:
Ghildiyal S, Faria M, Gulati R. Solitary extramedullary plasmacytoma (a case report). J Postgrad Med [serial online] 1990 [cited 2023 Sep 30 ];36:44-5
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  ::   IntroductionTop

Multiple myeloma, a disease of unknown aetiology characterized by proliferation of plasma cells commences insidiously and is usually diagnosed at an advanced stage often with extramedullary manifestations. Solitary plasmacytomas are similar tumours arising from the upper air passages and other extramedullary areas, a proportion of which may ultimately lead to the generalized disease, others dying from local invasion and the remainder showing no further evidence of the tumour either at the local site or distally following treatment.

  ::   Case reportTop

KJ, a 27-year-old constable, presented with a six months' history of recurrent epistaxis and a blocked left nostril. On nasal examination, a friable, greyish white mass was observed in the left nostril. A biopsy taken from the mass demonstrated plasmacytoma. Skeletal survey was normal, urine revealed no abnormal proteins, and serum protein profile was normal. Radiotherapy was given followed by no recurrence over a follow-up period of six months.

  ::   DiscussionTop

Willis[6], as well as Stout and Kenney[5] have laid emphasis on the lymphocytic origin of plasmacytomas.

Willis[6] classified them as (1) multiple myeloma -generalized; (2) solitary plasmacytoma of the bone; and (3) solitary plasmacytoma of soft tissue.

Extramedullary plasmacytomas commonly affect the upper respiratory tract and the oral cavity (82%), forming 0.5% of the tumours in this region[4]. Recent series report a male preponderance (1.5:1), a median age of 56 years at the time of diagnosis with a variety of symptoms based on the site of growth[1],[2],[3],[5]. Twenty per cent of the patients show spread of the growth to the draining lymph nodes. Serum monoclonal proteins have been detected in 25% of the cases while in less than 4% Bence Jones proteins in the urine have been found[3],[4].

In view of extreme radiosensitivity of the tumour, treatment of choice is radiotherapy. Recurrence depends on the dose of radiation given and surgery is reserved for the same.

In recent series, with high dose radiotherapy (5000 rads), the local recurrence rate has averaged to around 6%[1],[3],[4]. In one third of the cases, local recurrence heralds the onset of dissemination which may take the form of either typical multiple myeloma or of metastasis of soft tissue or of bones. On the other hand, further local radiotherapy may lead to a second remission lasting for many years.


1 Bataille R. Localized plasmacytomas. Clin Haematol 1982; 11:113-122.
2Hellwig CA. Extramedullary plasma cell tumours as observed in various locations. Arch Pathol 1943; 36:95-111.
3Kotner LM, Wang CC. Plasmacytoma of the upper air and food passages. Cancer 1972; 30:414-418.
4Poole AG, Marchetta FC. Extramedullary plasmacytoma of the head and neck. Cancer 1968; 22:14-21.
5Stout AP, Kenney FR. Primary plasma-cell tumours of the upper air passages and oral cavity. Cancer 1949; 2:261-278.
6Willis RA. In: “Pathology of Tumour”. 3rd ed. London: Butterworths; 1960, pp 791..

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