Aims: Primary amyloidosis (AL) is a systemic disease; however, there is limited information regarding the presence and character of vascular abnormalities.
Methods and results: Validated ultrasound techniques were used to prospectively determine carotid artery intimal-medial thickness (IMT) and brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) in 59 consecutive AL patients and 17 age-similar, healthy, asymptomatic volunteers (CON). Carotid IMT was increased in AL when compared with CON (0.07 +/- 0.02 vs. 0.04 +/- 0.01 mm, P < 0.01). Similarly, brachial artery FMD was significantly lower in AL when compared with CON subjects (3 +/- 7 vs. 12 +/- 8%, P < 0.01). Multivariable analysis revealed that AL was associated with larger IMT and lower FMD after controlling for several confounding variables. However, within AL cases, there was not a significant association of cardiac vs. non-cardiac involvement with IMT or FMD (P = 0.1 and 0.2, respectively).
Conclusion: AL is associated with abnormal vascular morphology and endothelial dysfunction. Vascular abnormalities do not appear to be related to echocardiographic evidence of cardiac involvement.