Patients with light-chain amyloidosis and low free light-chain burden have distinct clinical features and outcome

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The validated criteria of hematologic response in light-chain (AL) amyloidosis are based on the measurement of circulating free light chains (FLCs). Patients with a difference between involved and uninvolved FLC (dFLC) <50 mg/L cannot be assessed for response and are excluded from clinical trials. We compared the clinical characteristics and outcome of 203 newly diagnosed patients with dFLC <50 mg/L (low dFLC) with 866 patients with measurable dFLC (high dFLC) evaluated between 2004 and 2015. Heart involvement was significantly less common and less advanced in the low-dFLC group (43% vs 83% and Mayo stage III 45% vs 15%, both P < .001), whereas renal involvement was more frequent (77% vs 63%, P < .001) and more severe (renal stage III 26% vs 18%, P = .001). Overall survival (OS) was significantly better in the low-dFLC group (median 117 vs 21 months, P < .001), whereas no difference was seen in renal survival (RS). Within each Mayo stage, patients with low dFLC had a longer survival. In the low-dFLC group, complete response was associated with a significant advantage in OS (median not reached vs 117 months, P = .005) and with a better RS. A reduction in dFLC after therapy of <10 mg/L was associated with a better OS and RS in patients with at least a dFLC >20 mg/L baseline. Nineteen percent of newly diagnosed patients with AL amyloidosis have low dFLC and had a better outcome. Hematologic response assessed with adapted criteria predicts OS and RS in these patients, who can thus be assessed for response and included in clinical trials with appropriate stratification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-631
Number of pages7
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 3 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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