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Clin Auton Res. 2019 Aug 26. doi: 10.1007/s10286-019-00628-6. [Epub ahead of print]

Diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal dysfunction in hereditary TTR amyloidosis.

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Amyloidosis Research and Treatment Centre, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, Viale Golgi, 19, 27100, Pavia, Italy.
Department of Medicine, Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.



To review the management of gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis, discussing diagnostic evaluations, assessment of disease progression and therapeutic strategies that could be implemented in routine practice.


Literature review. Key search terms included "gastrointestinal symptoms", "autonomic neuropathy", "hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis" and "familial amyloid polyneuropathy".


Gastrointestinal disturbances are a common and serious manifestation of hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis, with significant effects on patients' quality of life and demonstrating a strong association with mortality. Gastrointestinal involvement is more often subclinical in the early stages of the disease, although in some patients gastric and/or bowel abnormalities may be the inaugural symptoms. In both cases, under-recognition, delayed investigation and suboptimal treatment frequently occur. A clear understanding of the mechanisms underlying gastrointestinal dysfunction in hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis is still lacking, but similar to diabetic enteropathy, multiple pathophysiological alterations seem to play a role.


Early detection and treatment of gastrointestinal disturbances is key to the successful treatment of this devastating disease. Gastroenterologists play a valuable role in both the diagnosis and the timely management of gastrointestinal symptoms in hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis and should, therefore, be part of a multidisciplinary and comprehensive approach to this disorder.


Amyloidosis; Diarrhoea; Gastroparesis; Malabsorption; Transthyretin


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