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Secondary systemic amyloidosis

 

Definition

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

Secondary means it occurs because of another disease or situation. For example, this condition usually occurs as a result of chronic infection or chronic inflammatory disease.

Systemic means body-wide. For example, a systemic disease affects the entire body.

See also:

Alternative Names

Amyloidosis - secondary systemic

Causes

The exact cause of amyloidosis is unknown. You are more likely to develop secondary systemic amyloidosis if you have a long-term infection or inflammation.

This condition may occur along with:

Symptoms
Signs and tests

Tests that may be done include:

Support Groups

Expectations (prognosis)

How well a person does depends on which organs are affected. If the disease involves the heart and kidneys, it may lead to organ failure and death.

Calling your health care provider

Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of this condition. The following are serious symptoms that require prompt medical attention:

  • Bleeding
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Numbness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling
  • Weak grip
Complications
Treatments

The condition that is causing the amyloidosis should be treated. Some persons may need a bone marrow or stem cell transplant. There is no specific treatment for amyloidosis itself.

Prevention

If you have a disease that's known to increase your risk of this condition, make sure you get it treated. This may help prevent amyloidosis.

References

Buxbaum JN. The amyloidoses. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap 296.


Review Date: 5/3/2009
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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