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Primary amyloidosis: symptoms, treatment and life expectancy

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Primary amyloidosis is a pathology that is classified within what are called monoclonal gammopathies. This disease is a type of cancer in which fibrillar proteins or amyloid substances tend to deposit in large quantities in various tissues that affect the normal function of an organ. The causes of the production of this substance and the reason why they are deposited in the tissues are not yet known. Still, primary amyloidosis is related to the abnormal production of antibodies by various cells derived from B lymphocytes, that is, plasma cells.

Although primary amyloidosis is one of the types of neoplasia, it is the least common and is more common in older men, with an average age of 65 years. If you want to learn more about this pathology, in the following FastlyHealarticle, you will find a large amount of information about primary amyloidosis: symptoms, treatment, and life expectancy.

Primary amyloidosis: symptoms

The symptoms of primary amyloidosis are usually progressive but slow since the course of this pathology is chronic and, in some cases, the patient may not have any symptoms for several years.

Once the symptoms become clinically present, the first thing that can be perceived is excellent fatigue and weight loss; however, they are also common:

  • The edemas because of kidney disorder caused by a nephrotic syndrome.
  • the feeling of shortness of breath known as dyspnea from heart failure
  • Enlargement of the liver, a condition called hepatomegaly.

Likewise, the symptoms that primary amyloidosis may present may include:

  • Sensory alterations are mainly in the extremities of the body.
  • Enlargement of the size of the tongue.
  • Diarrhea .
  • Impotences
  • The tendency to hypotension grows.
  • There may be respiratory distress.
  • Changes in the skin
  • Problems swallowing normally.
  • A great weakness.

The dysfunction of the organs causes all these symptoms due to the deposits of amyloid material, so it is essential to carry out an urgent medical consultation in the presence of one or more.

Primary amyloidosis: diagnosis

The diagnosis of this type of cancer, called primary amyloidosis, is based on discovering amyloid material in the body’s tissues. Therefore, the first thing to do is a blood test. Likewise, the doctor may choose to perform a biopsy of the subcutaneous fat, which tends to be positive in a large number of patients with this disease; However, if it is negative, the specialist may take another sample, but now from the spinal cord or rectum and, if it continues to give negative results, a biopsy of some organ with problems will be performed.

Although the patient may not present any symptoms, different studies must be carried out to assess the state of each affected organ. In this way, the precursor proteins of the deposited substances will be studied to rule out another type of amyloidosis.

Primary amyloidosis: treatment

To start the treatment of primary amyloidosis, it is essential that the patient is suitable, depending on the age and the damaged organ, to undergo an autologous transplant of hematopoietic progenitors, that is, his cells are extracted from the patient’s bone marrow mother or precursors, which later become blood cells, to later be transplanted into the affected area, this to replace those blood cells that have been destroyed by the disease or treatment.

If the person is suitable for this, the transplant may be the first recommendation of the specialist since, although it does not offer the cure of the pathology, various remissions can be achieved, which can be very long, and improve the functioning of damaged organs.

If the condition is in the heart, the doctor may recommend a heart transplant, followed by a hematopoietic transplant. Despite this, in patients who are not suitable for transplants, treatment will be based on various drugs to calm the symptoms caused by the pathology.

While there is no cure, treatments will always aim to slow the progression of primary amyloidosis and improve symptoms. This is why it is essential to consult a doctor so that he can evaluate the patient and offer the most appropriate treatment for his case.

Primary amyloidosis: prognosis and life expectancy

The prognosis for patients with primary amyloidosis will depend mainly on the organs affected. However, life expectancy can be very unfavorable because there is no treatment capable of stopping and eliminating the deposited substance, and the general factor of advanced age in people who suffer from it.

When the main organ affected is the heart or the kidneys, which leads to their failure and death, the patient can die in 1 to 3 years, although it depends on each case.

The clinical picture of this disease can be aggravated due to various complications such as congestive heart failure, kidney failure, respiratory failure, or a hormonal disorder, which can be called endocrine failure.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Primary Amyloidosis: symptoms, treatment and life expectancy, we recommend that you enter our category of Blood, heart and circulation .

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