We conducted a retrospective review of multiple myeloma (MM), smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM), and monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) patients seen at Mayo Clinic to determine whether a bone marrow biopsy (BM) is necessary in all patients diagnosed with a monoclonal protein. A total of 2254 MM, 397 SMM, and 5836 MGUS patients were included in the study. A total of 29 (1.3%) MM patients “without CRAB/FLC” were identified where BM or advanced imaging was critical for diagnosis, 8 (0.3% MM cohort) of whom were diagnosed with MM solely on BM findings (plasma cells > 60%). Without BM or advanced imaging none of these patients would be classified low-risk MGUS. A total of 314 (79%) MGUS-like SMM patients were identified where classification of SMM was based on BM findings. Without BM 97 would be classified as low/low-intermediate-risk MGUS and 151 intermediate or high-risk MGUS; 66 had missing information precluding classification. Only three (<1% SMM cohort) were low-risk MGUS without abnormalities in hemoglobin, calcium, and renal function. In patients presenting with low-risk MGUS and normal hemoglobin, calcium, and renal function, the risk of missing a diagnosis of SMM and MM by omitting BM is <1%. BM should be deferred in these patients in preference to clinical and laboratory monitoring.
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