Journal Article

Renal amyloidosis revisited: amyloid distribution, dynamics and biochemical type

Helmut Hopfer, Thorsten Wiech and Michael J. Mihatsch

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 26, issue 9, pages 2877-2884
Published in print September 2011 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online March 2011 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Renal amyloidosis revisited: amyloid distribution, dynamics and biochemical type

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Background. Renal amyloidosis results from protein misfolding and leads to progressive renal insufficiency. Few data are available concerning the relevance of the histomorphological patterns and the dynamics of the disease process.

Methods. Cases of renal amyloidosis in native kidney biopsies (n = 203) were retrospectively evaluated for the pattern of amyloid distribution, the extent of glomerular amyloid deposition and the amount of interstitial fibrosis and tubular atrophy. One hundred and fifty-eight cases were characterized by immunohistochemistry to determine the biochemical amyloid type. Morphological findings were correlated with available clinical data.

Results. According to the predominant site of amyloid deposition, 84.6% showed a glomerular, 9.4% a vascular and 6% a tubulointerstitial distribution pattern. Within the glomeruli, amyloid was initially deposited in a focal segmental fashion that became diffuse and global in later stages. Most cases were identified as AL lambda (84/158) or AA (68/158). There was no correlation between the biochemical type and the distribution pattern. Serum creatinine correlated well with interstitial fibrosis and tubular atrophy and proteinuria with the glomerular amyloid load.

Conclusions. The relevance of the different distribution patterns is unclear at the moment, but they may be due to the physicochemical properties of the amyloid fibrils in a given patient. This may become important in future anti-fibrillar therapies.

Keywords: amyloidosis; immunohistochemistry; kidney biopsy; renal pathology

Journal Article.  4522 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Nephrology

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