Thalidomide is widely used in the treatment of
multiple myeloma (MM). In recent years, several cases of pulmonary hypertension
have been reported following treatment with thalidomide. The aim of this review
was to evaluate the published literature on multiple myeloma patients with
pulmonary hypertension following thalidomide treatment. A literature search was
performed between 2000 and 2016. A total of 7 eligible studies were identified
and deemed eligible, including 11 cases—approximately 37% (4 cases) with IgA
(k), 27% (3 cases) with IgG (λ) MM,
27% (3 cases) with IgG (k) MM, and one case (9%) with primary plasma cell leukemia
(PPCL). The vast majority of cases—82% (9 cases)—are associated with thalidomide,
while only 18% (2 cases) are related to thalidomide derivatives (lenalidomide and
pomalidomide). In conclusion, pulmonary hypertension induced by thalidomide or
derivatives in multiple myeloma (MM) patients is related to a multifactorial
etiology including the pathophysiology of the disease, thromboembolic events,
preexisted cardiovascular conditions, comorbidities, and combination with other
chemo- or bio-therapeutic agents. MM patients should be evaluated
for signs and symptoms underlying cardiopulmonary disease before initiating,
and during treatment with thalidomide.
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