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Gamma heavy chain disease

Other Names for this Disease
  • Franklin disease
  • Gamma heavy chain deposition disease
  • IgG heavy chain disease
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Gamma heavy chain disease is characterized by the abnormal production of antibodies.[1] Antibodies are made up of light chains and heavy chains. In this disorder, the heavy chain of the gamma antibody (IgG) is overproduced by the body.  Gamma heavy chain disease mainly affects older adults and is similar to aggressive malignant (cancerous) lymphoma.[2] However, some people with this disorder have no symptoms. People with symptoms may respond to chemotherapy drugs, corticosteroids, and radiation therapy.[3] Approximately one-third of individuals with gamma heavy chain disease are also diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder.[1]
Last updated: 7/25/2010


  1. Brick W, Faguet GB, Burgess R. Heavy Chain Disease, Gamma. eMedicine Journal. April 15, 2009; Accessed 7/25/2010.
  2. Heavy chain diseases. Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. July 2008; Accessed 7/25/2010.
  3. Heavy chain diseases. Merck Manuals Online Medical Library. July 2008; Accessed 7/25/2010.
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  • The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals provides more detailed information on heavy chain diseases.
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