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Hereditary amyloidosis

Definition

Hereditary amyloidosis is a condition in which abnormal protein deposits (called amyloid) form in almost every tissue in the body, usually the heart, kidneys, and nervous system. These protein deposits damage the tissues and interfere with how organs work.

Alternative Names

Amyloidosis - hereditary; Familial amyloidosis

Causes

Hereditary amyloidosis is passed down from parents to their children (inherited). For more information see: Primary amyloidosis.

Other types of amyloidosis are not inherited. They include:

  • Senile systemic, seen in patients older than 70
  • Spontaneous, which means it occurs without a known cause
  • Secondary, which means it results from diseases such as cancer of the blood cells (myeloma)

For further information, see the specific type:

Treatment

A liver transplant may be helpful. Talk to your doctor or nurse about your treatment options.

References

Ferri FF. Amyloidosis. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2014. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Mosby; 2014.


Review Date: 2/3/2014
Reviewed By: Chad Haldeman-Englert, MD, FACMG, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Section on Medical Genetics, Winston-Salem, NC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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