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monoclonal gammapathy
Mar 2, 2001

Several years ago I was found to have a monoclonal spike that was rather high. I have had periodic blood work done since that time. The spike has leveled off and appears better. Recently I found out that I have the HIV virus. Does having the monoclonal spike mean that the disease (HIV) was caught late and place me at a vulnerable state in regards to my HIV condition?

Response from Dr. Dezube

Monoclonal spikes can occasionally develop in patients with HIV-infection. Basically what this means is that some of the bone marrow cells called plasma cells are beginning to show PRE-cancerous changes. The plasma cells are the cells which produce antibodies. Often when the HIV is treated, the spike levels off as it seems to have done in your case. Occasionally the monoclonal spikes can get worse and lead to a disease called myeloma. Having a monoclonal spike does NOT necessarily place you in a vulnerable state in regards to your HIV condition. You should have your monoclonal protein checked on a regular basis -- perhaps 4 times per year (maybe more often or less often depending upon how high your monoclonal protein is). If it should begin to rise, then feel free to contact me again and we can go from there in terms of deciding the next step.

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