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Case 131 - Discussion

Uploaded: 2010-08-06, Updated: 2010-08-06

Plasma Cell Leukemia, IgA type, with Flame Cells

Flame cells are plasma cells with pseudopodic cytoplasmic projections that stain carmine red on Wright-Giemsa. The devitalized peripheral cytoplasm contains numerous dilated endoplasmic reticulum cisterns, which are distended with immunoglobulin. The secretory obstruction destroys and thickens the cell margins, eventually causing the dying cell to shed these hardened fragments of immunoglobulin-laden cytoplasm. This process is known as clasmatosis. Flame cells are classically found in association with immunoglobulin A (IgA) myelomas. They can also be associated with IgG and IgM myeloma, and can also be found in reactive plasma cells as well.


  • Liron Pantanowitz, Virginia Tranovich, Enrique Ballesteros (2001) Flaming Plasma Cells. Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine: October 2001, Vol. 125, No. 10, pp. 1394-1395.