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Hereditary amyloidosis

Hereditary amyloidosis is a condition in which abnormal protein deposits (called amyloid) form in almost every tissue in the body. Deposits most often form in the heart, kidneys, and nervous system. These protein deposits damage the tissues and interfere with how organs work.

Causes

Hereditary amyloidosis is passed down from parents to their children (inherited). Genes may also play a role in primary amyloidosis.

Other types of amyloidosis are not inherited. They include:

  • Senile systemic: seen in people older than 70
  • Spontaneous: occurs without a known cause
  • Secondary: results from diseases such as cancer of the blood cells (myeloma)

Specific conditions include:

Treatment

A liver transplant may be helpful. Talk to your health care provider about treatments.

Alternative Names

Amyloidosis - hereditary; Familial amyloidosis

References

Gertz MA. Amyloidosis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 188.

Budd RC, Seldin DC. Amyloidosis. In: Firestein GS, Budd RC, Gabriel SE, McInnes IB, O’Dell JR, eds. Kelley and Firestein's Textbook of Rheumatology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 116.

Review Date 11/20/2017

Updated by: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.