Background: Hereditary amyloidosis with predominant renal disease can be caused by mutations in the gene encoding the fibrinogen Aα-chain (AFib). Here, we describe the clinical course of AFib amyloidosis associated with the rare R554L mutation, and the significance of extrarenal amyloid deposits and their possible influence on cardiovascular morbidity.
Methods: We report on 101 members of a family after having conducted patient interviews, chart review, genetic testing, renal biopsies and assessment for extrarenal amyloid deposition.
Results: Ten family members had chronic kidney disease with late-onset gross proteinuria and a variable course of declining renal function, starting in the fourth decade of life. In two affected living members, we identified the AFib R554L mutation. Renal biopsies from two affected members revealed almost complete obliteration of the mesangial glomerular architecture, although kidney function was only moderately impaired. There was neither evidence of extrarenal amyloidosis nor accelerated atherosclerosis.
Conclusions: Renal amyloidosis associated with the R554L AFib variant dominated the clinical picture in this family, which was similar to that associated with the much more prevalent E526V mutation. Although it has been hypothesized that vascular deposits of fibrinogen amyloid may be associated with accelerated atherosclerosis, there was no suggestion of this in this particular kindred.