JOURNAL ARTICLE

Demonstration and classification of amyloidosis in needle biopsies of the kidneys, with special reference to amyloidosis of the AA-type

H Löfberg, H Thysell, K Westman, S Larsen, C Brun, V Gruic, A Grubb
Acta Pathologica, Microbiologica, et Immunologica Scandinavica. Section A, Pathology 1987, 95 (6): 357-63
3120491
To examine whether sequence-specific antibodies directed against serum amyloid A were useful in the demonstration and classification of amyloidosis, needle biopsy specimens from the kidneys of 152 cases with renal disorders were investigated using the avidin-biotin-peroxidase complex technique of immunohistochemistry. A distinct immunoreactivity of protein AA was seen in biopsies from all 42 individuals who were clinically classified as having the AA-type of amyloidosis. The stained areas coincided with deposits stained by Congo red. Four of these cases demonstrated immunoreactivity of both protein AA and light immunoglobulin chains and all biopsies except one showed immunoreactivity for the amyloid P-component. After treatment with potassium permanganate, the amyloid deposits in the biopsies of all 42 cases lost their affinity for Congo red. Ten patients with clinical and laboratory findings compatible with the AL-type of amyloidosis were also investigated. All their biopsies demonstrated Congophilic amyloid deposits but none of them showed any immunoreactivity of protein AA. Amyloid deposits of lambda light immunoglobulin chains-but not kappa-were demonstrated in biopsies from four patients. The amyloid P-component was found in biopsies from six individuals and positive Congo red staining after treatment with potassium permanganate was seen in biopsies from four of the cases. Biopsies of 100 patients suffering from non-amyloid renal disorders were also examined. None of them displayed any immunoreactive deposits of protein AA. The investigation shows that amyloid deposits of the AA-type can be identified in needle biopsies when sequence-specific antibodies against serum amyloid A are used in the avidin-biotin-peroxidase complex technique. Both the diagnostic sensitivity (42 of 42) and specificity (110 of 110) of the assay were optimal (1.0). The method was found to be superior to other investigated techniques and useful for classifying amyloidosis in formalin-fixed renal biopsies.

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