[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
November 1984

Amyloidosis (AL): An Approach to Early Diagnosis

Author Affiliations

Mayo Medical School Mayo Clinic 200 First St SW Rochester, MN 55905

Arch Intern Med. 1984;144(11):2145-2146. doi:10.1001/archinte.1984.04400020047004

[ill]myloidosis is considered by many to be a rare disease. In a retrospective review by Alexanian al in this issue,1 30 cases of amyloidosis were [ill]gnosed during a 15-year span. Because symptoms [ill]re present for 20 months before diagnosis, the [ill]hors point out the need for better identification [ill]d earlier diagnosis.

Diagnosis of amyloidosis demands proof through a [ill]psy. Symptomatically uninvolved tissue (eg, rec[ill]n, subcutaneous fat,2 and bone marrow) or in[ill]ved tissue (eg, carpal ligament, sural nerve, endo[ill]ocardium, small intestine, kidney, and liver) may chosen, depending on risk and cost, until the [ill]gnosis is confirmed.

The detection of a monoclonal protein in the serum [ill]urine helps distinguish the more common primary [ill]yloidosis (AL) (amyloid light chain) from secondary amyloidosis (AA) and other forms of amyloi[ill]sis.3 Electrophoresis of serum and urine discloses a [ill]noclonal protein peak in about half of patients [ill]th AL while immunoelectrophoresis can detect a [ill]noclonal protein in