The recognition and treatment of amyloidosis in the critical care patient

Nancy McGowan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Primary amyloidosis is a little understood, often misdiagnosed disease. Characterized by extracellular protein deposits in tissue and vital organs, this disease gives patients a survival period of 13.2 months after diagnosis. Those patients with congestive heart failure have a median survival rate of 4 months after diagnosis. Although primary amyloidosis may be considered rare, the incidence is the same as for Hodgkin disease, chronic granulocytic leukemia, and polycythema vera. This article discusses the pathophysiology, signs and symptoms, and treatment options for primary amyloidosis. Critical care nurses should be aware of this disease to allow their patients the greatest chance of survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-164
Number of pages4
JournalDimensions of Critical Care Nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2006


  • Amyloid
  • Amyloidosis
  • Congestive heart failure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency
  • Critical Care


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