Neurofilament light chain, a biomarker for polyneuropathy in systemic amyloidosis

Jelger Louwsma, Anne F. Brunger, Johan Bijzet, Bart J. Kroesen, Wilfried W. H. Roeloffzen, Antje Bischof, Jens Kuhle, Gea Drost, Fiete Lange, Jan B. M. Kuks, Reinold O. B. Gans, Bouke P. C. Hazenberg, Hans L. A. Nienhuis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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OBJECTIVE: To study serum neurofilament light chain (sNfL) in amyloid light chain (AL) amyloidosis patients with and without polyneuropathy (PNP) and to corroborate previous observations that sNfL is increased in hereditary transthyretin-related (ATTRv) amyloidosis patients with PNP.

METHODS: sNfL levels were assessed retrospectively in patients with AL amyloidosis with and without PNP (AL/PNP+ and AL/PNP-, respectively), patients with ATTRv amyloidosis and PNP (ATTRv/PNP+), asymptomatic transthyretin (TTR) gene mutation carriers (TTRv carriers) and healthy controls. Healthy controls (HC) were age- and sex-matched to both AL/PNP- (HC/AL) and TTRv carriers (HC/TTRv). The single-molecule array (Simoa) assay was used to assess sNfL levels.

RESULTS: sNfL levels were increased both in 10 AL/PNP+ patients (p < .001) and in 10 AL/PNP- patients (p < .005) compared to 10 HC/AL individuals. sNfL levels were higher in AL/PNP+ patients than in AL/PNP- patients (p < .005). sNfL levels were also increased in 15 ATTRv/PNP+ patients, compared to both 15 HC/TTRv (p < .0001) and 15 TTRv carriers (p < .0001). ATTRv/PNP+ patients with progressive PNP (PND-score > I) had the highest sNfL levels compared to patients with early PNP (PND-score I) (p = .05). sNfL levels did not differ between TTRv carriers and HC/TTRv individuals. In the group comprising all healthy controls and in the group of TTRv carriers, sNfL levels correlated with age.

CONCLUSION: sNfL levels are increased in patients with PNP in both AL and ATTRv amyloidosis and are related to severity of PNP in ATTRv amyloidosis. sNfL is a promising biomarker to detect PNP, not only in ATTRv but also in AL amyloidosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-55
Number of pages6
Issue number1
Early online date2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2021


  • Neurofilament light chain
  • systemic amyloidosis
  • polyneuropathy
  • biomarker
  • AL amyloidosis
  • ATTRv amyloidosis
  • AL

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