Amyloidosis is a rare group of diseases characterized by abnormal folding of proteins and extracellular deposition of insoluble fibrils. It can be localized to one organ system or can have systemic involvement. The kidney is the most common organ to be involved in systemic amyloidosis often leading to renal failure and the nephrotic syndrome. The two most common types of renal amyloidosis are immunoglobulin light chain-derived amyloidosis (AL) and reactive amyloidosis (AA). A novel form of amyloidosis (ALECT2) derived from leukocyte chemotactic factor 2 (LECT-2) and primarily involving the kidneys was first described by Benson et al in 2008. The liver was subsequently identified as the second most common organ involved in ALECT2 amyloidosis. LECT-2 is a unique protein that can form amyloid deposits even in its unmutated form. Patients with ALECT2 present with minimal proteinuria in contrast to other forms of amyloidosis especially AL and AA. They may present with slightly elevated serum creatinine. Nephrotic syndrome and hematuria are rare. ALECT2 can be found in association with other types of amyloidosis as well as malignancies or autoimmune diseases. ALECT2 may be confused with amyloidosis associated with light and heavy chain monoclonal gammopathy if the immunofluorescence is positive with anti-light chain and anti-AA sera. The other organs involved are the duodenum, adrenal gland, spleen, prostate, gall bladder, pancreas, small bowel, parathyroid gland, heart, and pulmonary alveolar septa, but consistently uninvolved organs included brain and fibroadipose tissue. A renal biopsy along with characteristic features found on immunohistochemistry and mass spectrometry is diagnostic of ALECT2. ALECT2 should be suspected when all markers for AL and AA are negative. Proper diagnosis of ALECT2 can determine need for supportive care versus more aggressive interventions.
Keywords: amyloidosis; chronic; kidney failure.
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