Light Chain Disease & Light Chain Deposition Disease

Light chain disease (LCD) and light chain deposition disease (LCDD) are plasma cell abnormally proliferative diseases. Light chain disease is caused by abnormal plasma cells producing excessive light chains. 

Light chains are used to make antibodies that the body needs to fight infection. A light chain disease(LCD) means too much free light chain fragment occurs in serum or urine.  Once the light chain is deposited in body tissues, it is light chain deposition disease(LCDD). 

While LCDD can occur in any organ, the kidneys are always involved. Signs and symptoms of LCDD may include protein in the urine; decreased kidney function; and/or nephrotic syndrome. Rarely, a person with LCDD may have symptoms from cardiac (heart) or liver involvement.

The underlying cause of LCDD is unknown. It is often associated with multiple myeloma. About 50% of patients with plasma cell myeloma have a single immunoglobulin light chain in the urine of the patient, Lambda or Kappa. LCDD may progress to multiple myeloma, or it may be present with multiple myeloma when it is first diagnosed.

The goal of treating LCDD is to slow the production of light chains and their damage to organs. Treatment may include chemotherapy with a drug called Bortezomib; autologous stem cell transplantation; immunomodulatory drugs; and/or kidney transplant. If untreated, end-stage renal disease occurs in 70% of cases.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.