International Journal of Hematology

DOI: 10.1007/s12185-019-02692-0 Pages: 1-7

Red blood cell distribution width is a simple and novel biomarker for survival in light-chain amyloidosis

1. Japanese Red Cross Medical Center, Department of Hematology

Correspondence to:
Takao Yogo
Tel: +81-3-3400-1311



Red blood cell distribution width (RDW) has been used for the differential diagnosis of anemia, but high RDW may also be associated with several human disorders. We evaluated the prognostic relevance of RDW in patients with light-chain (AL) amyloidosis. We retrospectively analyzed all patients with AL amyloidosis who were newly diagnosed at the Japanese Red Cross Medical Center between December 2011 and June 2018. RDW was evaluated in 94 patients; 48% (n = 45) of patients had a high RDW (≥ 13.8%) and 52% (n = 49) had a low RDW (< 13.8%). Overall survival (OS) was significantly lower in patients with a high RDW (P < 0.001). On multivariate analysis, increased RDW was an independent predictor for OS. Even in patients without cardiac amyloidosis, the OS was significantly lower in the high-RDW group (P = 0.0064). The survival rate of high-RDW patients without cardiac involvement was as poor as that of patients with cardiac involvement. In addition, in patients with revised Mayo stage I or a normal level of N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide, high RDW was negatively correlated with OS (P = 0.0086, 0.025). RDW is a simple and strong predictor of early death, and is a prognostic biomarker in patients with AL amyloidosis without cardiac involvement.

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