Beta 2-microglobulin amyloidosis in hemodialysis patients. An autopsy study of intervertebral disks and posterior longitudinal ligaments

K Honda, M Hara, Y Ogura, H Nihei, N Mimura
Acta Pathologica Japonica 1990, 40 (11): 820-6
Ninety-five autopsy cases of chronic renal failure, which had or had not been treated by hemodialysis, were examined histologically and immunohistochemically for evidence of amyloid deposition in the intervertebral disks and posterior longitudinal ligaments of the spine. beta 2-Microglobulin (beta 2M) amyloid was not present in non-dialyzed patients with chronic renal failure. In cases showing beta 2M amyloid deposition, the shortest term of hemodialysis was 2 years and 5 months. The incidence of beta 2M amyloidosis tended to increase as the dialysis period was prolonged. An inverse correlation was present between dialysis period and age in 22 cases showing beta 2M amyloid deposition (correlation coefficient: -0.43, p less than 0.05), and beta 2M amyloidosis tended to occur earlier in elderly patients than in younger patients. This suggests that elderly patients are more susceptible to beta 2M amyloidosis. beta 2M amyloid was absent in all of 8 cases of systemic lupus erythematosus which were treated by dialysis for periods ranging from 2 days to 12 years. In these patients, beta 2M amyloidosis may have been prevented by steroids, which had been administered for long periods in all cases. Another amyloid of unknown composition was also frequently present in the intervertebral disks and posterior longitudinal ligaments not only in patients with chronic renal failure but also control patients without chronic renal failure. This amyloid was immunohistologically negative for beta 2M, amyloid A protein, light chain kappa or lambda, prealbumin, and apolipoprotein A-II.

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