Amyloidosis (patient information)

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Amyloidosis

Overview

What are the symptoms?

What are the causes?

Who is at highest risk?

When to seek urgent medical care?

Diagnosis

Treatment options

Where to find medical care for Amyloidosis?

What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?

Possible complications

Amyloidosis On the Web

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Images of Amyloidosis

Videos on Amyloidosis

FDA on Amyloidosis

CDC on Amyloidosis

Amyloidosis in the news

Blogs on Amyloidosis

Directions to Hospitals Treating Amyloidosis

Risk calculators and risk factors for Amyloidosis

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-In-Chief: Varun Kumar, M.B.B.S.

Overview

Primary amyloidosis is a disorder in which abnormal proteins build up in tissues and organs. Clumps of the abnormal proteins are called amyloid deposits.

What are the symptoms of Amyloidosis?

Symptoms depend on the organs affected by the deposits. These organs can include the tongue, intestines, skeletal and smooth muscles, nerves, skin, ligaments, heart, liver, spleen, and kidneys. Symptoms include:

Other symptoms that may occur with this disease:

What causes Amyloidosis?

The cause of primary amyloidosis is unknown. The condition is related to abnormal and excess production of antibodies by a type of immune cell called plasma cells.

Primary amyloidosis can lead to conditions that include:

The deposits build up in the affected organs, causing them to become stiff, which decreases their ability to function.

Who is at highest risk?

Risk factors have not been identified. Primary amyloidosis is rare. It is similar to multiple myeloma, and is treated the same way.

When to seek urgent medical care?

Call your health care provider if:

Diagnosis

Your doctor may discover that you have an enlarged liver or spleen.

If organ damage is suspected, your doctor may order tests to confirm amyloidosis of that organ. For example:

This disease may also affect the results of the following tests:

Treatment options

Some patients with primary amyloidosis respond to chemotherapy focused on the abnormal plasma cells. A stem cell transplant may be done, as in multiple myeloma.

In secondary amyloidosis, aggressively treating the disease that is causing the excess amyloid protein can improve symptoms and/or slow the disease from getting worse. Complications such as heart failure, kidney failure, and other problems can sometimes be treated, when needed.

Where to find medical care for Amyloidosis?

Directions to Hospitals Treating Amyloidosis

What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?

How severe the disease is depends on the organs that are affected. When the heart and kidney are involved, it may lead to organ failure and death. Body-wide (systemic) involvement can lead to death in 1 to 3 years.

Possible complications

Sources

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000533.htm


Cardiology


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