Systemic amyloidosis

Lancet. 2016 Jun 25;387(10038):2641-2654. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(15)01274-X. Epub 2015 Dec 21.


Tissue deposition of protein fibrils causes a group of rare diseases called systemic amyloidoses. This Seminar focuses on changes in their epidemiology, the current approach to diagnosis, and advances in treatment. Systemic light chain (AL) amyloidosis is the most common of these conditions, but wild-type transthyretin cardiac amyloidosis (ATTRwt) is increasingly being diagnosed. Typing of amyloid fibrils, a critical determinant of therapy, has improved with the wide availability of laser capture and mass spectrometry from fixed histological tissue sections. Specific and accurate evaluation of cardiac amyloidosis is now possible using cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and cardiac repurposing of bone scintigraphy tracers. Survival in AL amyloidosis has improved markedly as novel chemotherapy agents have become available, but challenges remain in advanced disease. Early diagnosis, a key to better outcomes, still remains elusive. Broadening the amyloid-specific therapeutic landscape to include RNA inhibitors, fibril formation stabilisers and inhibitors, and immunotherapeutic targeting of amyloid deposits holds promise to transform outcomes in systemic amyloidoses.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amyloidosis / diagnosis*
  • Amyloidosis / epidemiology
  • Amyloidosis / therapy*
  • Humans