Original Article

Annals of Hematology

, 89:201

First online:

Low incidence of clinically apparent thromboembolism in Korean patients with multiple myeloma treated with thalidomide

  • Youngil KohAffiliated withDepartment of Internal medicine, Seoul National University Hospital
  • , Soo-Mee BangAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital Email author 
  • , Jae Hoon LeeAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine, Gachon University Gil Hospital
  • , Hwi-Joong YoonAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine, Kyung Hee University College of Medicine
  • , Young-Rok DoAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine, Dongsan Medical Center
  • , Hun-Mo RyooAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine, Daegu Catholic University School of Medicine
  • , Nari LeeAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine, Chonbuk National University Hospital
  • , Seok Jin KimAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine, Samsung Medical Center
  • , Kihyun KimAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine, Samsung Medical Center
    • , Sung-Soo YoonAffiliated withDepartment of Internal medicine, Seoul National University Hospital
    • , Jong-Ho WonAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine, Soon Chun Hyang University Hospital
    • , Yeung-Chul MunAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine, Ewha Women’s University College of Medicine
    • , Moon-Hee LeeAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine, Inha University Hospital
    • , Ki-Hyun RheeAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine, Holy Family Hospital
    • , Hyo-Jung KimAffiliated withDepartment of Internal medicine, Hallym University Medical Center
    • , HyeonSeok EomAffiliated withSpecial Cancer Clinic, National Cancer Center
    • , Min Kyoung KimAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine, Yeungnam University Medical Center
    • , Hyun Chun ShinAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine, Hallym University Chuncheon Hospital
    • , Korean Multiple Myeloma Working Party

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The frequency of thromboembolic events (TE) in Caucasian patients with multiple myeloma (MM) receiving thalidomide as the initial treatment has been reported to be 10~58% without prophylactic anticoagulation. Korean MM patients treated with thalidomide were studied to determine the frequency of TE and associated risk factors. A retrospective medical record review of the Korean MM registry from 25 centers in Korea between 2003 and 2007 was performed. We assessed the incidence of arterial and venous TE and the associated clinical parameters. Three hundred and sixty MM patients (median age 61 years, range 32–88 years) received thalidomide treatment. Fourteen patients (3.9%) developed TE: 12 had venous and two had arterial locations. The sites for the venous TE included lungs (seven), lower extremities (four), upper extremities (one), and neck (one). Arterial TE developed in cerebral and peripheral arteries each. No single clinical parameter such as prerequisite for the metabolic syndrome, disease status, and treatment regimen were predictive for the development of TE. The frequency of TE in patients who received thalidomide as initial therapy (7/155) was not different from those who received thalidomide for progressive or relapsed disease (7/205, p = 0.592). The frequency of TE during thalidomide treatment in Korean patients with MM was low. No significant clinical factor was found to be a risk factor. The subgroup requiring thromboprophylaxis among the Korean patients with MM, receiving thalidomide, needs to be clarified.


Multiple myeloma Thalidomide Thromboembolism