Proteomic Identification and Clinicopathologic Characterization of Splenic Amyloidosis

April Chiu, Surendra Dasari, Paul J. Kurtin, Jason D. Theis, Julie A. Vrana, Karen L. Rech, Linda N. Dao, Matthew T. Howard, Joanna C. Dalland, Ellen D. Mcphail

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The spleen is a commonly encountered specimen in surgical pathology. However, little is known about the incidence, morphologic pattern, and clinical features of spleens involved by amyloidosis. We retrospectively identified 69 spleen amyloid cases typed using a proteomics-based method between 2008 and 2020. The frequency of amyloid types, clinicopathologic features, and distribution of amyloid deposits were assessed. Four amyloid types were detected: immunoglobulin light chain (AL) (N=30; 43.5%); leukocyte chemotactic factor 2 amyloidosis (ALECT2) (N=30; 43.5%); amyloid A (AA) (N=8; 11.6%); and fibrinogen alpha (AFib) (N=1; 1.4%). The splenic amyloid showed 5 distinct distribution patterns: (1) diffuse pattern, exhibited by most AL cases; (2) red pulp pattern, exhibited by most ALECT2 cases; (3) multinodular pattern, seen in subsets of AA and AL-kappa cases; (4) mass-forming pattern, seen in the AFib case; and (5) vascular only, seen in a subset of AA cases. Atraumatic splenic rupture was the most common reason for splenectomy in AL cases, while most ALECT2 spleens were removed incidentally during an unrelated abdominal surgery. Splenomegaly was significantly more common in AA spleens than in AL or ALECT2 spleens and was often the reason for splenectomy in this group. In conclusion, splenic amyloid may be underrecognized as it is often an incidental finding. Although, as expected, many of the spleens were involved by AL amyloidosis, ALECT2 emerged as another common spleen amyloid type. Although the spleen amyloid types exhibited characteristic distribution patterns, proteomics-based typing is warranted as some morphologic overlap still exists. Awareness of ALECT2 as a major spleen amyloid type is important for appropriate diagnostic workup and patient management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-80
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023


  • ALECT2
  • amyloidosis
  • proteomics
  • spleen
  • typing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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