Gastrointestinal amyloidosis

Gastrointestinal amyloidosis is relatively common, although symptomatic involvement is more rare. It is diagnosed if there is persistent gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms with endoscopic biopsy proven amyloid deposition.

Tends to affect middle-aged and older patients. 

Weight loss (most common) and GI bleeding are the main symptoms. Other symptoms include gastro-oesophageal reflux, constipation, nausea, diarrhea, weight loss, early satiety, and abdominal pain.

  • duodenum (most common)
  • stomach (second most common): the gastric manifestations of amyloidosis include gastric fold and or wall thickening and rigidity. Luminal narrowing can cause a linitis plastica type appearance and mimic gastric carcinoma.
  • colon and rectum
  • oesophagus

On fluoroscopy the gastric mucosa may display thickened folds, which may appear nodular or mass-like and which may contain calcifications.

Features include:

  • diffuse wall thickening of the involved segment of bowel
  • intussusception
  • dilatation depending upon the degree of hypomotility; GI bleeding can also cause dilated bowel loops with fluid levels
  • luminal narrowing either due to amyloid infiltration or secondary to ischemia
  • infectious enteritis (e.g. Shigella, Salmonella, Escherichia coli, cytomegalovirus, Cryptococcus, pseudomembranous colitis, AIDS)
  • bowel ischaemia
  • other infiltrating process, e.g. small bowel lymphoma
  • other causes of GI bleeding
Share article

Article information

rID: 42378
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and figures

  • Drag
    Case 1
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

    Alert accept

    Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

    Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.