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Pulmonary Hypertension Induced by Thalidomide (and Derivatives) in Patients with Multiple Myeloma: A Systematic Review

DOI: 10.4236/jct.2016.713094, PP. 971-978

Keywords: Thalidomide, Thalidomide Derivatives, Pulmonary Hypertension, Multiple Myeloma

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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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