Primary amyloidosis is a disorder in which abnormal proteins build up in tissues and organs. Clumps of the abnormal proteins are called amyloid deposits.
Amyloid – primary
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The cause of primary amyloidosis is unknown. The condition is related to abnormal and excess production of
Primary amyloidosis can lead to conditions that include:
Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Heart muscle damage (
cardiomyopathy) leading to congestive heart failure
- Liver swelling
Kidney failure Nephrotic syndrome
- Nerve problems (neuropathy)
- Orthostatic hypotension (drop in blood pressure when you stand up)
Primary amyloidosis is rare. It is similar to
Symptoms depend on the organs affected. This disease can affect the tongue, intestines, skeletal and smooth muscles, nerves, skin, ligaments, heart, liver, spleen, and kidneys.
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- Swollen tongue
- Numbness of hands or feet
- Shortness of breath
- Skin changes
- Swallowing problems
- Swelling in the arms and legs
- Weak hand grip
- Weight loss
Other symptoms that may occur with this disease:
Decreased urine output
Hoarseness or changing voice Joint pain
Signs and tests
The doctor or nurse will examine you. You will be asked questions about your medical history and symptoms. A physical exam may show that you have an
The first step in diagnosing amyloidosis should be blood and urine tests to look for abnormal proteins.
Other tests depend on your symptoms and what organ may be affected. Some tests include:
Abdominal ultrasoundto check the liver and spleen.
- Heart tests such as an
- A carpal tunnel syndrome exam to check for a weak hand grip, including a
nerve conduction velocitytest.
- Kidney function tests to check for signs of kidney failure (
Tests that can help confirm the diagnosis include:
- Abdominal fat pad aspiration
- Bone marrow biopsy
This disease may also affect the results of the following tests:
Bence-Jones protein (quantitative) Carpal tunnel biopsy Gum biopsy Immunoelectrophoresis – serum Myocardial biopsy Nerve biopsy Quantitative immunoglobulins Tongue biopsy
- Urine protein
This condition is treated the same way as multiple myeloma.
Treatment may include:
- Stem cell transplant
If the condition is caused by another disease, that disease should be aggressively treated. This may improve symptoms or slow the disease from getting worse. Complications such as heart failure, kidney failure, and other problems can sometimes be treated, when needed.
How well you do depends on which organs are affected. Heart and kidney involvement may lead to organ failure and death. Body-wide (
- Congestive heart failure
- Kidney failure
Calling your health care provider
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of this disease. Also call if you have been diagnosed with this disease and have:
- Decreased urine
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of the ankles or other body parts that does not go away
There is no known prevention for primary amyloidosis.