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Am J Med Sci. 2003 Sep;326(3):145-7.

Acute secondary gastrointestinal amyloidosis in a patient with rheumatoid arthritis.

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Department of Multidisciplinary Internal Medicine, Tottori University Faculty of Medicine, Yonago, Japan.


Secondary amyloidosis is well recognized as a severe complication in the late stages of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, there have been few reported cases of secondary amyloidosis developing early during the course of RA. We here report the case of a 35-year-old woman, in whom RA who had been diagnosed 1 year before, with intractable watery diarrhea as a symptom of RA-induced secondary intestinal amyloidosis. Combination treatment with intravenous hyperalimentation, corticosteroids, and methotrexate (MTX) resulted in a dramatic improvement of her symptoms and objective findings of serological abnormalities. Subsequent administration of corticosteroids and MTX resulted in long-term survival without recurrence. This case indicates that we should be alert for the development of secondary amyloidosis, even in patients with a short history of RA, when the disease is active. Furthermore, combination therapy with intravenous hyperalimentation and strong immunosuppressive agents seems to be very efficacious in the treatment of RA-associated secondary intestinal amyloidosis.

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