Hereditary Transthyretin Amyloidosis and the Impact of Classic and New Treatments on Kidney Function: A Review

Am J Kidney Dis. 2024 Mar 12:S0272-6386(24)00676-0. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2024.01.527. Online ahead of print.


Hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis (ATTRv) is a rare, progressive, and life-threatening disease caused by misfolded transthyretin (TTR) proteins that aggregate as abnormal amyloid fibrils and accumulate throughout the body. The kidney is one of the main organs affected in amyloid light chain (AL) amyloidosis and ATTRv amyloidosis. The most common clinical presentation is proteinuria, which consists mainly of albumin; this is the first step in the natural history of ATTRv nephropathy. Not all TTR mutations are equal in terms of ATTRv kidney involvement. Kidney involvement in ATTRv itself is difficult to define, given the numerous associated confounding factors. There are several treatments available to treat ATTRv, including orthotopic liver transplant (OLT), which is the classic treatment for ATTRv. However, we should be careful regarding the use of calcineurin inhibitors in the setting of OLT because these can be nephrotoxic. New treatments for amyloidosis may have an impact on kidney function, including drugs that target specific pathways involved in the disease. Tafamidis and diflunisal, which are TTR stabilizers, patisiran (RNA interference agent), and inotersen (antisense oligonucleotide inhibitor) have been shown to reduce TTR amyloid. Tafamidis and patisiran are medications that have reduced the progression of kidney disease in amyloidosis, but inotersen and diflunisal may damage kidney function.

Keywords: ATTRv; diflunisal; inotersen; liver transplantation; patisiran; renal; tafamidis; transthyretin.

Publication types

  • Review