Which physical findings are characteristic of AA (inflammatory) amyloidosis?

Updated: Aug 11, 2020
  • Author: Richa Dhawan, MD, CCD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Patients with amyloid renal disease are commonly hypertensive, although whether the hypertension is associated with the renal amyloidosis or is a coincidental finding is not always clear. Sallow complexion and peripheral edema are the main physical findings in individuals with either renal failure or nephrotic syndrome.

The major physical findings may be those associated with the primary inflammatory disease. The appearance of hepatosplenomegaly in a patient with ongoing inflammation should prompt investigation for amyloidosis, although some patients with severe RA develop splenomegaly with subsequent Felty syndrome (splenomegaly and neutropenia or pancytopenia in the course of RA). These patients with Felty syndrome generally have normal renal function, although they might have a renal disease other than AA deposition.

The purpura and macroglossia observed in AL amyloidosis are not features of AA amyloidosis. Nor is the orthostatic hypotension associated with AL amyloidosis or the familial amyloidoses, unless gastrointestinal bleeding or other forms of hypovolemia associated with renal dysfunction are present.

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