Secondary systemic amyloidosis is a disorder in which abnormal proteins build up in tissues and organs. Clumps of the abnormal proteins are called amyloid deposits.
Secondary means it occurs because of another disease or situation. For example, this condition usually occurs as a result of chronic infection or chronic inflammatory disease. Primary amyloidosis means there is no disease that is causing the condition.
Systemic means body-wide. For example, a systemic disease affects the entire body.
The condition that is causing the amyloidosis should be treated. Some persons may need a bone marrow or stem cell transplant. There is no specific treatment for amyloidosis itself.
How well a person does depends on which organs are affected and whether the disease that is causing it can be controlled. If the disease involves the heart and kidneys, it may lead to organ failure and death.
Gertz MA, Lacy MQ, Dispenzieri A, Hayman SR. Immunologic light-chain amyloidosis (primary amyloidosis). In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ Jr., Shattil SJ, et al, eds. Hoffman Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2008:chap 89.
David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.