This study investigated the clinical significance of loss of spleen visualization (LSV) on whole-body diffusion-weighted imaging (WB-DWI) in patients with multiple myeloma (MM). The WB-DWI of 96 patients with newly diagnosed MM (NDMM) and 15 patients with smoldering MM (sMM) were retrospectively reviewed. LSV was observed in 56 patients with NDMM (58.3%) and 1 patient with sMM (6.7%). Patients with NDMM with LSV had a higher median infiltration of bone marrow plasma cells (80.0% vs. 50.0%, p < 0.001) and median total diffusion volume (median; 540.2 vs. 137.0 mL, p = 0.003) than patients without LSV. Patients with LSV had a lower spleen-to-spinal cord ratio (0.36 vs. 0.96, p < 0.001) and worse 2-year overall survival (OS) (84.6% vs. 100%, p = 0.032). Patients who did not recover spleen visualization during treatment had a worse prognosis, even when they obtained very good partial response (median progression-free survival: 13.2 months). Spleen histopathological findings revealed higher cellularity and diffuse myeloma cell infiltration in a patient with LSV and splenic amyloidosis without extramedullary hematopoiesis in a patient without LSV. Therefore, LSV indicates worse prognosis for patients with MM, even when the patient responds to treatment. Further studies are warranted to clarify the immunological role of spleen in MM.
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