Multiple myeloma of the spine, X-ray

Multiple myeloma of the spine, X-ray

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Credit: Centre Jean PERRIN - ISM/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Multiple myeloma of the spine. X-ray of the lumbar spine of a 70-year-old female patient affected by multiple myeloma (Kahler's disease), showing osteolytic compression of the L2 vertebra (third from top). Multiple myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell. In this condition, large numbers of abnormal plasma cells accumulate in the bone marrow, where they interfere with the production of normal blood cells. Bone lesions may develop, causing the bone to weaken and become vulnerable to fractures. Multiple myeloma is not curable, but can be treated with steroids, chemotherapy and stem cell transplants. Osteolysis is the resorption of bone by osteoclasts.

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