Pathology and diagnosis of renal non-AL amyloidosis

Sanjeev Sethi, Jason D. Theis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Renal amyloidosis is characterized by acellular Congo red positive deposits in the glomeruli, interstitium and/or arteries. Light chain restriction on immunofluorescence studies is present in AL-amyloidosis, the most common type of amyloidosis involving the kidney. The detection of Congo red positive deposits coupled with negative immunofluorescence studies is highly suggestive of non-AL amyloidosis. Some of the non-AL amyloidosis are common while others are relatively rare. The clinical features, laboratory and renal pathology findings are helpful in the diagnosis and typing of non-AL amyloidosis. Thus, ALECT2 amyloidosis is characterized by diffuse cortical interstitial amyloid deposits, AA amyloidosis shows vascular deposits in addition to the glomerular deposits, AFib amyloidosis is characterized by massive amyloid accumulation limited to the glomeruli resulting in the obliteration of glomerular architecture, AApoA1 and AApoAIV are characterized by large amyloid deposits restricted to the medulla, and AGel shows swirling patterns of amyloid fibrils on electron microscopy. While light microscopy is very helpful, accurate typing of non-AL amyloidosis then requires immunohistochemical or laser microdissection/mass spectrometry studies of the Congo red positive deposits. Immunohistochemical studies are available for some of the non-AL amyloidosis. On the other hand, mass spectrometry analysis is a one stop methodology for confirmation and typing of amyloidosis. The diagnosis and typing of amyloidosis by mass spectrometry is based on finding the signature amyloid peptides, apolipoprotein E and serum amyloid-P component, followed by detection of precursor amyloidogenic protein such as LECT2, fibrinogen-α, gelsolin, etc. To, summarize, non-AL amyloidosis is a group of amyloidosis with distinctive clinical, laboratory and renal pathology findings. Typing of the amyloidosis is best performed using mass spectrometry methodology. Accurate typing of non-AL amyloidosis is imperative for correct management, prognosis, and genetic counseling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-350
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nephrology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • ALECT2
  • Amyloid
  • Apolipoproteins
  • Fibrinogen alpha
  • Gelsolin
  • Laser-microdissection
  • Mass spectrometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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