Prevalence and predictors of thyroid functional abnormalities in newly diagnosed AL amyloidosis.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Data on the effect of systemic immunoglobulin light chain amyloidosis (AL amyloidosis) on thyroid function are limited.

OBJECTIVE

To assess the prevalence of hypothyroidism in AL amyloidosis patients and determine its predictors.

METHODS

1142 newly diagnosed AL amyloidosis patients were grouped based on the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) measurement at diagnosis: hypothyroid group (TSH above upper normal reference; >5 mIU L-1 ; n = 217, 19% of study participants) and euthyroid group (n = 925, 81%). Predictors for hypothyroidism were assessed in a binary multivariate model. Survival between groups was compared using the log-rank test and a multivariate analysis.

RESULTS

Patients with hypothyroidism were older, more likely to present with renal and hepatic involvement and had a higher light chain burden compared to patients in the euthyroid group. Higher proteinuria in patients with renal involvement and lower albumin in patients with hepatic involvement were associated with hypothyroidism. In a binary logistic regression model, age ≥65 years, female sex, renal involvement, hepatic involvement, kappa light chain restriction and amiodarone use were independently associated with hypothyroidism. Ninety-three per cent of patients in the hypothyroid group with free thyroxine measurement had normal values, consistent with subclinical hypothyroidism. Patients in the hypothyroid group had a shorter survival compared to patients in the euthyroid group (4-year survival 36% vs 43%; P = 0.008), a difference that was maintained in a multivariate analysis.

CONCLUSION

A significant proportion of patients with AL amyloidosis present with hypothyroidism, predominantly subclinical, which carries a survival disadvantage. Routine assessment of TSH in these patients is warranted.

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