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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Renal type AA amyloidosis associated with rheumatoid arthritis: a cohort study showing improved survival on treatment with pulse cyclophosphamide.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the incidence of renal AA amyloidosis and its association with rheumatoid arthritis ( RA) in a cohort of all renal biopsies at one referral hospital and to measure the effect of a monthly pulse of cyclophosphamide on renal function and survival in these RA patients. METHOD: All renal biopsies with proven AA amyloidosis from a single pathology unit linked to a major nephrology referral unit in a university hospital were selected retrospectively and RA patients were identified. We studied 6931 renal biopsies. The effect of treatment with and without pulse cyclophosphamide on renal function and survival was studied in these patients. RESULTS: From March 1977 to February 1999, the incidence of AA amyloidosis was 2.4 cases/yr. The incidence and prevalence of the association of AA amyloidosis with RA were 0.68 cases/yr and 0.22% (15/6931) respectively. RA patients treated with cyclophosphamide (n=6) had a lower rate of renal function loss (P=0.013) and a higher median survival (P=0.026) than untreated patients (n=9). During the follow-up period, two out of six treated patients (33%) and all nine untreated patients (100%) died. CONCLUSIONS: AA amyloidosis is a rare complication of RA and complicates the evaluation of treatment. This retrospective study suggests that treatment with cyclophosphamide is able to reduce the incidence of end-stage renal failure and to increase survival. Prospective studies are needed to clarify this issue.[1]


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