Prognostic Value of Elevated Red Blood Cell Distribution Width in Chinese Patients with Multiple Myeloma

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Red blood cell distribution width (RDW) is a parameter measured in blood routine test and has been reported as a biomarker for numerous diseases. It is closely related to iron metabolism, which plays an important role in multiple myeloma (MM). Therefore, we investigated the RDW relationship with the selected clinical parameters of MM patients to evaluate its prognostic value.


166 MM patients (88 males and 78 females, average age: 61.6±10.8 years) were retrospectively observed between January 2009 and May 2015. Their baseline RDW levels and other clinical data were collected and the clinical characteristics were subsequently compared between high (>14.0%) and normal (≤14.0%) RDW level groups.


High RDW levels had a significantly high correlation with some unfavorable clinical parameters and cytogenetic abnormalities. We did not find significant correlation between elevated RDW values and patients’ age, gender, globulin, and treatment response. Importantly, an increased RDW value was found to be related to patients’ progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). Moreover, multivariate COX analysis predicted that an elevated RDW value was independently associated with a poor PFS in MM patients.


Elevated RDW value would be a readily available predictor of long-term adverse outcome among MM patients.

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