Amyloidosis: A group of diseases that result from the abnormal deposition of a protein, called amyloid, in various tissues of the body. Amyloid protein can be deposited in a localized area, and it may not be harmful or it may affect only a single tissue of the body. This form of amyloidosis is called localized amyloidosis. Amyloidosis that affects tissues throughout the body is referred to as systemic amyloidosis. Systemic amyloidosis can cause serious changes in organs throughout the body. Amyloidosis can occur as its own entity or secondarily, as a result of another illness, including multiple myeloma, chronic infections (such as tuberculosis or osteomyelitis), or chronic inflammatory diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis).
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Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012