Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2009; 13 (1 Suppl): 45-50

Gastrointestinal amyloidosis: a case of chronic diarrhoea

C. Fonnesu*, M. Giovinale*, E. Verrecchia*, G. de Socio*, C. Cerquaglia*, V. Curigliano*, A. Soriano*, L. ObiciĀ°, A. Grieco*, L. Lauriola, G. Gasbarrini*, R. Manna*

*Department of Internal Medicine, Catholic University of the Sacred hearth, Rome (Italy) °International Center of Amyloidosis, San Matteo Hospital, Pavia (Italy)


Amyloidosis is a rare disease caused by extracellular deposits of insoluble fibrillar proteins in various organs and tissues. There are different forms of amyloidosis distinguished by the type of protein fibrils, by the sites of deposition and by associated conditions. Gastrointestinal involvement is common both in primary and secondary amyloidosis, while isolated gastrointestinal amyloidosis is rare.
We describe a case of AL amyloidosis with a gastrointestinal involvement and restrictive cardiomiopathy.
A 64 year old woman came to our attention with a history of chronic diarrhoea and weight loss, associated with dysphagia, dry mouth, xerophtalmia, chronic gastritis and depression. Clinical diagnosis has been difficult because of aspecificity of symptoms that mimed other more common diseases, like gastro-paresis, epigastric discomfort, gastric or duodenal ulcers, perforation, malabsorption, intestinal pseudo-obstruction.
There is an important risk of misunderstanding and diagnostic delay. Indeed in this patient a diagnosis of irritable colon syndrome was erroneously established two years before admission in our hospital. Therefore gastrointestinal amyloidosis should be considered among differential diagnoses of chronic diarrhoea and weight loss when other more common diseases have been excluded.

Corresponding Author: Raffaele Manna, MD; e-mail: rmanna@rm.unicatt.it

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To cite this article

C. Fonnesu*, M. Giovinale*, E. Verrecchia*, G. de Socio*, C. Cerquaglia*, V. Curigliano*, A. Soriano*, L. ObiciĀ°, A. Grieco*, L. Lauriola, G. Gasbarrini*, R. Manna*
Gastrointestinal amyloidosis: a case of chronic diarrhoea

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Year: 2009
Vol. 13 - N. 1 Suppl
Pages: 45-50