Orthostatic Hypotension as a Clue to Primary Systemic Amyloidosis
Data on 11 patients with orthostatic hypotension and primary systemic amyloidosis have been presented. Dizziness and light-headedness or syncope significantly hampered the involved patients. Three were incapacitated by orthostatic hypotension.
Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and loss of weight were common, and adrenal insufficiency was seriously considered in the differential diagnosis of six of the 11 patients. Abnormal sweating was found in all six in whom this test was done.
The drug 9-α-fluorohydrocortisone showed promise in symptomatic therapy of the condition. The possibility of primary systemic amyloidosis should be considered in the presence of orthostatic hypotension. Rectal biopsy and bone-marrow aspiration are recommended as initial biopsy procedures unless another organ suitable for biopsy is obviously involved.
- © 1966 American Heart Association, Inc.