Immunoglobulin Light Chain Amyloidosis: Diagnosis and Risk Assessment

Saurabh Zanwar, Morie A. Gertz, Eli Muchtar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Immunoglobulin light chain (AL) amyloidosis is a clonal plasma cell disorder with multiple clinical presentations. The diagnosis of AL amyloidosis requires a high index of suspicion, making a delay in diagnosis common, which contributes to the high early mortality seen in this disease. Establishing the diagnosis of AL amyloidosis requires the demonstration of tissue deposition of amyloid fibrils. A bone marrow biopsy and fat pad aspirate performed concurrently have a high sensitivity for the diagnosis of AL amyloidosis and negate the need for organ biopsies in most patients. An accurate diagnosis requires amyloid typing via additional testing, including tissue mass spectrometry. Prognostication for AL amyloidosis is largely driven by the organs impacted. Cardiac involvement represents the single most important prognostic marker, and the existing staging systems are driven by cardiac biomarkers. Apart from organ involvement, plasma cell percentage on the bone marrow biopsy, specific fluorescence in situ hybridization findings, age at diagnosis, and performance status are important prognostic markers. This review elaborates on the diagnostic testing and prognostication for patients with newly diagnosed AL amyloidosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-90
Number of pages8
JournalJNCCN Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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