Immunoglobulin Light-Chain Amyloidosis: From Basics to New Developments in Diagnosis, Prognosis and Therapy

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Immunoglobulin amyloid light-chain (AL) amyloidosis is the most common form of systemic amyloidosis, where the culprit amyloidogenic protein is immunoglobulin light chains produced by marrow clonal plasma cells. AL amyloidosis is an infrequent disease, and since presentation is variable and often nonspecific, diagnosis is often delayed. This results in cumulative organ damage and has a negative prognostic effect. AL amyloidosis can also be challenging on the diagnostic level, especially when demonstration of Congo red-positive tissue is not readily obtained. Since as many as 31 known amyloidogenic proteins have been identified to date, determination of the amyloid type is required. While several typing methods are available, mass spectrometry has become the gold standard for amyloid typing. Upon confirming the diagnosis of amyloidosis, a pursuit for organ involvement is essential, with a focus on heart involvement, even in the absence of suggestive symptoms for involvement, as this has both prognostic and treatment implications. Details regarding initial treatment options, including stem cell transplantation, are provided in this review. AL amyloidosis management requires a multidisciplinary approach with careful patient monitoring, as organ impairment has a major effect on morbidity and treatment tolerability until a response to treatment is achieved and recovery emerges.

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