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Amyloidosis refers to a group of conditions in which proteins (amyloids) accumulate in the body's organs and tissues in abnormal amounts, disrupting normal functions. Amyloidosis may be caused by a bone marrow cell disorder or an inherited protein variation. Or it may be associated with other conditions, including multiple myeloma, tuberculosis, and familial Mediterranean fever.
Organs most often affected by amyloidosis include the heart, liver, kidney, skin, and certain nerves. But any organ system may be involved. Symptoms of amyloidosis depend upon the organ system affected and may not help determine what condition is causing the protein accumulation. Amyloidosis can be disabling and even life-threatening.
Treatment of amyloidosis depends upon the condition that is causing the protein accumulation. In some cases chemotherapy, corticosteroid therapy, or stem cell transplant may be used.
Last Revised: July 24, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology
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