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Prevalence and type of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance in an apparently healthy Nigerian population: a cross sectional study

A Lawretta Onwah1, Titilope A Adeyemo2*, Adewumi Adediran2, Sarah O Ajibola3 and Alani S Akanmu2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pathology, Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, Nigeria

2 Department of Haematology & Blood Transfusion, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, P.M.B. 12003, Marina, Lagos, Nigeria

3 Department of Haematology & Blood Transfusion, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-araba, Lagos, Nigeria

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BMC Blood Disorders 2012, 12:7  doi:10.1186/1471-2326-12-7

Published: 28 June 2012



The prevalence of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), a premalignant plasma-cell disorder has not been determined in our geographic area Nigeria.


A cross sectional survey was carried on apparently healthy Nigerians selected by multistage sampling technique from the cosmopolitan city of Lagos, Nigeria. Subjects enrolled into the study had 2-step screening for the presence, type and concentration of monoclonal band. Agarose-gel electrophoresis was performed on all serum samples, and any serum sample with a discrete band of monoclonal protein or thought to have a localized band was subjected to Immunofixation. Subjects were also evaluated for Bence jones proteinuria, haematological and biochemical parameters.


Four hundred and ten subjects with a mean age of 45.68 ± 10.3 years, a median of 45.00 years and a range of 20 to 80 years were enrolled into the study. MGUS was identified in only one (0.24 percent) of the 410 study subject. This subject was demonstrated to have a double monoclonal gammopathy; IgGλ at 16.9 g/L and IgAκ at 8.5 g/L. None of them including the sole subject with MGUS had a monoclonal urinary light chain.


Among residents of Lagos, Nigeria, MGUS was found in only 0.24% percent of apparently normal persons with a median age of 45 years. This suggests that MGUS which represents the earliest stage of monoclonal plasma/lymphoid cell proliferation is not a common finding in the relatively young population of Nigeria. Future epidemiologic studies dealing with plasma cell disorders in older people are required to carefully examine the relationship between environmental factors and prevalence of MGUS and its ultimate progression to MM.

Prevalence; Type; Monoclonal; Gammopathy; Lagos