heavy chain disease
a term used for a group of diseases, the paraproteinemias, characterized by production of homogeneous immunoglobulins or fragments, and associated with malignant disorders of the plasmacytic and lymphoid cell series. Three types have been recognized: ?-heavy-chain disease, a-heavy-chain disease, and µ-heavy-chain disease; each is diagnosed by the finding of the appropriate heavy-chain fragment in the serum, urine, or both.
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