Primary systemic amyloidosis with ischemic stroke as a presenting complication

Alexander Y. Zubkov, Alejandro A. Rabinstein, Angela Dispenzieri, Eelco F.M. Wijdicks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Amyloidosis is an uncommon disorder that ultimately leads to fatal multiorgan failure. Ischemic strokes have been sporadically described but are not well characterized. The purpose of this study was to review the pathophysiologic relationship between primary systemic amyloidosis and ischemic stroke, and to determine how often stroke is the first defining manifestation. METHODS: Retrospective study of 49 patients with confirmed primary amyloidosis and ischemic stroke. All included patients had biopsy proven amyloidosis. RESULTS: Forty patients were included in the study. Ischemic strokes occurred in 13 patients (32.5%) as the initial presentation of amyloidosis. Patients with initial stroke presentation had the worst outcome, with average survival of 6.9 months after established diagnosis with amyloidosis; strokes developed 9.6 months before diagnosis with primary amyloidosis. Thirty-seven percent experienced recurrent ischemic stroke. The majority (70%) of patients had cardioembolic infarctions. CONCLUSIONS: Ischemic stroke is an underappreciated complication of primary amyloidosis. In the absence of obvious clinical and cardiogenic manifestations, primary amyloidosis should be considered when echocardiography demonstrates thickening of the valves, restrictive pattern, and increased echogenicity. Ischemic strokes as an initial presentation of primary amyloidosis carries a worse prognosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1136-1141
Number of pages6
Issue number11
StatePublished - Sep 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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