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Am J Med. 1987 Jun;82(6):1182-90.

Survival of patients with primary (AL) amyloidosis. Colchicine-treated cases from 1976 to 1983 compared with cases seen in previous years (1961 to 1973).


Primary amyloidosis has a variable course, but is generally associated with a short life expectancy. To date, no specific therapy has been available. Fifty-three patients with AL amyloidosis seen between 1976 and 1983 were treated with colchicine, and their clinical course and survival were compared with that in 29 other patients seen between 1961 and 1973. Of the variables measured, the treatment, the patient's sex, and the time interval from diagnosis to referral of treatment were significantly associated with length of survival. Median survival for the colchicine-treated patients was 17 months, compared with six months for the non-colchicine-treated patients. A surprising finding was the longer life span in female patients (median eight months versus four and a half months in the non-colchicine-treated group, and 25.5 months versus 10 month in the colchicine-treated group). The study suggests that colchicine has improved the life expectancy in AL amyloidosis. Although it is not a specific therapy, it may be a reasonable form of adjunctive treatment in this complex disorder.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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