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Etanercept treatment of renal amyloidosis complicating rheumatoid arthritis

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Rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile arthritis represent the commonest diseases complicated by AA amyloidosis in developed countries. Up to 5% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis will develop AA amyloidosis, with renal failure being the commonest cause of mortality. To date, treatment of this condition has focused on suppressing the underlying inflammatory condition with drugs such as cyclophosphamide and chlorambucil, but both these drugs are associated with myelotoxicity, leukaemia and sterility. Tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) is thought to be involved in amyloid deposition. The efficacy of anti-TNF-α therapy (etanercept) in the treatment of renal amyloidosis complicating rheumatoid arthritis is demonstrated here and the current scientific data on this subject are presented. (Intern Med J 2004; 34: 570−572)

Keywords: AA amyloidosis; nephrotic syndrome; rheumatoid arthritis; treatment; tumour necrosis factor-α

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Rheumatology, The Canberra Hospital, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

Publication date: September 1, 2004


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