Objective: To clarify the clinical significance of the SAA1.3 allele in the development and outcome of AA amyloidosis in Japanese patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Methods: One hundred and twenty RA patients (60 alive and 60 dead) fulfilling the 1987 ACR criteria and 62 RA patients with biopsy-confirmed amyloid A (AA) amyloidosis (36 alive and 26 dead) were enrolled. The SAA1 genotypes were determined by PCR-based restriction fragment length polymorphism. To predict the clinical outcome of AA amyloidosis, we investigated characteristics and survival, focusing on the SAA1.3 allele retrospectively.
Results: The SAA1.3 allele genotype was not only a risk factor for the association of AA amyloidosis but also a poor prognostic factor for the development of AA amyloidosis (P=0.015). Both the association of AA amyloidosis arising early in the RA disease course and symptomatic variety and severity were found in amyloidotic patients with the SAA1.3 allele. The presenting factors adversely influenced were age (P=0.001), lowered serum albumin (P=0.001) and creatinine concentration (P=2.14 x 10(-5)). Renal involvement was associated with poor survival in patients with AA amyloidosis (P=0.011) and the presence of cardiac involvement was likely to be a risk factor for survival (P=0.062). The rate of the causes of death in respect to the category of infection, gastrointestinal diseases, and renal failure was higher in patients with AA amyloidosis than in those without amyloidosis, gastrointestinal diseases and renal failure. Cyclophosphamide was found to be superior to methotrexate in the management of RA patients with AA amyloidosis.
Conclusion: Our data support the fact that homozygosity for the SAA1.3 allele is a univariate predictor of survival in addition to a risk factor for the association of AA amyloidosis adversely influencing the outcome in Japanese RA patients. Renal involvement is a pivotal clinical manifestation in the development of AA amyloidosis, as is likely to be cardiac involvement in AA amyloidosis secondary to RA.