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Amyloidosis refers to a group of diseases in which there are abnormal protein deposits within the various body tissues. Amyloid refers to these abnormal proteins. Each amyloid protein has an independent structure, and depending upon the amyloid, the protein may be widespread or concentrated within an isolated tissue. When an amyloid is widespread, it may affect several tissues and organs within the body. Sometimes the amyloid protein is deposited in a small, focused area. When this happens the damage may be localized within a single body tissue. This is localized amyloidosis. When the amyloidosis symptoms affect several body tissues, it is called systemic amyloidosis. Systemic amyloidosis can be very serious, affecting vital organs including the heart, kidneys, and lungs.
There are three primary types of systemic amyloidosis: primary, secondary, and hereditary. Primary amyloidosis occurs as its own entity while secondary amyloidosis occurs as a result of an illness such as chronic inflammatory diseases or chronic infections. Hereditary amyloidosis symptoms result from aging and may not have systemic implications. The protein, which causes Alzheimer’s disease is an example of hereditary amyloidosis.
Amyloidosis is caused when proteins are made insoluble resulting in these proteins being deposited in tissues and organs. The proteins accumulate, primarily in the tissues between cells. Some people inherit a risk for amyloidosis symptoms while others develop it as they age.
Patients with amyloidosis will often experience abnormal functioning in one or more organs, including the heart, liver, kidneys, skin, bowels, nerve, lungs, and joints. The amyloidosis symptoms are often vague and may include shortness of breath, fatigue, lack of appetite, weight loss, tingling, numbness, weakness, bruising, enlarged tongue, and swelling. The disease can lead to heart failure, cardiomyopathy, arthritis, peripheral neuropathy, diarrhea, malabsorption, and liver failure or damage. When amyloidosis affects the kidneys, it often causes nephrotic syndrome. This condition is characterized by swelling of the extremities and a severe loss of protein in the urine.
Amyloidosis symptoms are diagnosed by identifying the amyloid protein through a biopsy of the tissue or organ involved, such as the rectum, mouth, kidney, fat, liver or heart. A pathologist will then examine the biopsy specimen and look for the protein by means of a special dye.
The treatment of amyloidosis will depend upon the identified type. Most of the time, initial treatment will include correcting organ failure and then treating any resulting or underlying illness. Many times, amyloidosis symptoms are only discovered when an organ sustains significant damage. This is why stabilizing the impacted organ is usually the first treatment step. Kidney failure is the most frequent cause of death involving systemic amyloidosis.
Treatment can include chemotherapy and treatment with dexamethasone for inflammation. Certain ethnicities may inherit a genetic risk for familial Mediterranean fever, a disease associated with amyloidosis. This may be prevented with certain medications.
The prognosis for those who are diagnosed with amyloidosis symptoms will depend upon the type and how the patient responds to treatment. Systemic amyloidosis can be fatal if not treated. Once vital organs are involved, life expectancy is decreased, even with treatment.Read More
Radiology is really a medical topic where a number of radiology methods are utilized to identify and cure diseases. Diagnostic radiology includes a number of diagnostic and image led therapeutic techniques, including every aspect of radiological diagnosis (nuclear radiology, diagnostic ultrasound, magnetic resonance, calculated tomography, interventional methods, and using other kinds of sparkling energy).
One of the first procedures that you will probably undergo when you first find out that you are pregnant is an ultrasound. This ultrasound is used to determine the age of the fetus and diagnose the likelihood of any fetal anomalies or abnormalities in the womb.
The diagnostic radiology procedure uses sound wave technology, out of the range of hearing of the human ear, to project images. Regular ultrasound produces a 2-dimensional, black and white image that has a grainy quality and can be difficult to read with an untrained eye. Technological advancements now allow for 3-dimensional (black and white) and 4-dimensional scans (in color) but these have not medical justification for diagnostic procedures.
An additional scan may be performed at 28 weeks and during the last trimester. Ultrasound scans are widely accepted as being harmless to both mother and baby, however, most medical practitioners will limit the amount of scans as safety has not been fully established, unless complications in pregnancy may be present.
Ultrasound can also safely be used to diagnose other illnesses, medical conditions and injuries to the mother or fetus during pregnancy.
X-rays are generally not recommended to be used as a diagnostic radiology tool during pregnancy. However, a single exposure is considered to be harmless to the baby. In the event that your medical practitioner suspects fetal anomalies, you may be required to undergo a fetal abnormality scan which is a form of x-ray.
Exposure to high levels of radiation primarily causes cell death and is particularly harmful during the early stages of pregnancy affecting fetal development and resulting in miscarriage.
Computed Axial Tomography uses a number of x-ray images to create a fuller picture for medical diagnosis for conditions that are not related to pregnancy. The radiation exposure has not been proven to be harmful to the fetus, but doctors will avoid these scans where possible. Multiple scans could result in fetal abnormalities.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging uses sound waves (similar to ultrasound) in conjunction with magnetic resonance to create diagnostic images. An MRI can be used to diagnose medical conditions related to pregnancy or conditions that are unrelated. While the procedure is considered to be safe for the mother and the fetus, doctors will only recommend this type of diagnostic radiology imaging if they have immediate and serious concerns regarding the health of either mother or baby.
Receiving an MRI scan is highly uncommon during pregnancy and multiple scans even more rare. Safety has once again not been fully established but no fetal abnormalities have been identified in babies from mothers who have undergone an MRI during pregnancy.
Nuclear medicine involves the ingestion of a radioactive isotope used with a nuclear camera to diagnose specific medical conditions. The safety of the radioactive solution for the baby has not been proven and no signs of fetal abnormalities have been identified with regards to nuclear medicine. It is however unlikely that a doctor will request this type of diagnostic radiology procedure during pregnancy.Read More
The department of Pediatric Radiology of Boston Children’s Hospital provides range of services for newborns, infant, children, young adults and pregnant women. Our team of experienced professionals studies more than 200,000 images every year using the latest technologies and equipment.
We care for all our patients and provide high quality images and individual diagnoses. Our institution works on latest equipments that run on breakthrough technology. Pediatric Radiologist working in our institution is specialized in the field of radiology and offer best advice. Safety has always remained our primary concern while using radiation on children. We ensure risk free treatment to our patients by tailoring the equipments as per the capacity of the patient.
Our team of experts includes Pediatric Radiologists, Neurologists, Medicine physicians, nurses and child specialists. The team is led by Chief Radiologist Richard Robertson.
More than 30000 sonography exams are conducted by our institution every year. Fellowship and Residencies The department of Pediatric Radiology is one of the oldest and largest group of pediatric imaging specialists. Every year more than two hundred thousand imaging studies is being performed by our experts using latest technology and equipments. Our team features certified Radiologists, Neuroradiologists graduated from Harvard Medical School.
The fellowship program offers more experience in Pediatric Radiology and other opportunities to work with Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health. The department of Pediatric Neuroradiology offers a number of educational programs which include Medical Student Teaching, Residency Training, and Fellowship Training. The program can accommodate up to two persons after completing ACGME- accredited pediatric radiology.
Contact Us If you are looking to book an appointment log on to our website and schedule a visit to our institution. People can also visit our satellite clinics Lexington, Peabody, Weymouth and Waltham.