pleural effusions, pulmonary amyloidosis, multiple myeloma
Multiple myeloma is a hematologic malignancy of plasma cell origin. Pleural effusion may develop in the setting of myeloma due to various reasons but is extremely uncommon as a presenting symptom. A 69-year-old Caucasian man presented with pleural effusions of undetermined etiology after extensive work up, and multiple failed pleurodesis. Lung biopsy revealed pulmonary amyloidosis and led to the diagnosis of multiple myeloma. Patient was started on chemotherapy but died within 6 weeks of his diagnosis due to multiorgan failure. Pulmonary amyloidosis should be suspected as a cause of intractable pleural effusions, even in patient who do not have evidence of lung involvement on imaging studies or typical features of multiple myeloma. Pleural effusions due to amyloidosis are often refractory to treatment, and a high index of suspicion is required for early diagnosis and treatment.