The Pathology of Amyloidosis in Classification: A Review. Journal Article

Author: Picken, MM
Article Title: The Pathology of Amyloidosis in Classification: A Review.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The amyloidoses are a rare and heterogeneous group of disorders that are characterized by the deposition of abnormally folded proteins in tissues ultimately leading to organ damage. The deposits are mainly extracellular and are recognizable by their affinity for Congo red and their yellow-green birefringence under polarized light. Current classification of amyloid in medical practice is based on the amyloid protein type. To date, 36 proteins have been identified as being amyloidogenic in humans. SUMMARY: in clinical practice, it is critical to distinguish between treatable versus non-treatable amyloidoses. Moreover, amyloidoses with a genetic component must be distinguished from the sporadic types and systemic amyloidoses must be distinguished from the localized forms. Among the systemic amyloidoses, AL continues to be the most common amyloid diagnosis in the developed world; other clinically significant types include AA, ALECT2, and ATTR. The latter is emerging as an underdiagnosed type in both the hereditary and wild-type setting. Other hereditary amyloidoses include AFib, several amyloidoses derived from apolipoproteins, AGel, ALys, etc. In a dialysis setting, systemic amyloid derived from ß2 microglobulin (Aß2M) should be considered, although a very rare hereditary variant has also been reported; several amyloidoses may be typically associated with aging and several iatrogenic types have also emerged. Determination of the amyloid protein type is imperative before specific therapy can be implemented and the current methods are briefly summarized. A brief overview of the target organ involvement by amyloid type is also included. Key Messages: (1) Early diagnosis of amyloidosis continues to pose a significant challenge and requires the participation of many clinical and laboratory specialties. (2) Determination of the protein type is imperative before specific therapy can be implemented. (3) While mass spectrometry has emerged as the preferred method of amyloid typing, careful application of immune methods is still clinically useful but caution and experience, as well as awareness of the limitations of each method, are necessary in their interpretation. (4) While the spectrum of amyloidoses continues to expand, it is critical to distinguish between those that are currently treatable versus those that are untreatable and avoid causing harm by inappropriate treatment.
Publisher: Unknown  
Date Published: 2020