• Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

  • Medical Editor: Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.

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What are complications of amyloidosis?

Complications of amyloidosis are a function of what organs and tissues are affected and to what degree their function is impaired. Amyloidosis can lead to failure of lung, liver, heart, nerves, and kidney function. Additionally, the treatments (including chemotherapy as well as stem-cell and organ transplantation) can have serious side effects.

What is the prognosis of amyloidosis?

The outlook depends on the form of amyloidosis and its response to treatment. Systemic amyloidosis is slowly progressive and fatal if untreated. The average survival for AL amyloidosis is approximately one year while familial amyloidosis is up to 15 years. The outlook and life expectancy is adversely affected by vital organ involvement.

Is it possible to prevent amyloidosis?

There is no prevention for amyloidosis. However, the secondary forms of amyloidosis can be prevented by treating the underlying diseases that are associated with inflammation. Genetic counseling can be beneficial in familial amyloidosis.

Where can people find more information on amyloidosis?

For more information about amyloidosis, please visit the following sites:

Boston Medical Center


Amyloidosis Foundation. < >.

Fauci, A.S., and C.A. Langford. Harrison's Rheumatology. New York: McGraw-Hill Medical Publishing, 2006.

Goldman, Lee, and Dennis Ausiello. Cecil Textbook of Medicine, 22nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier Health Sciences, 2003.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/19/2016

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