Amyloidosis can be fatal, particularly if the heart and kidneys are affected, reports WebMD. Chances for survival are improved with early diagnosis and treatment, but there is no known cure for the disease. If left untreated, patients often die within two years of being diagnosed with this condition.
Amyloidosis is a condition marked by the accumulation of an abnormal protein called amyloid in the tissues and organs, states WebMD. There are different types of amyloidosis that are determined by the type of protein involved and where it accumulates in the body. There are more than 30 different amyloid proteins, according to MedicineNet. These proteins can build up in a specific tissue or become systemic, involving multiple organs and body tissues. When it is localized, amyloidosis is not necessarily injurious, or it may only impair the function of a single organ. Systemic amyloidosis can seriously impair almost any organ of the body, including the heart, lungs and kidneys.
Amyloidosis cannot be detected through blood tests, asserts WebMD. Early indication of some amyloid proteins can be revealed through the laboratory procedures of electrophoresis or free light chain assays. A biopsy is required to positively diagnose amyloidosis and identify the specific amyloid protein involved. The tissue sample for the biopsy does not necessarily have to be taken from the body tissue affected by amyloid deposits.