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July 30, 1960


JAMA. 1960;173(13):1489. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020310077025

The deposition of a homogeneous material in various organs of the body was first described in 1824 by Rokitansky. Virchow, in 1854, observed that this material stained blue with iodine and sulfuric acid, and termed it "amyloid," although it has no relation to starch but is a protein usually associated with a sulfate-bearing polysaccharide similar to chondroitin-sulfuric acid. Four types of amyloidosis are distinguished: primary, secondary, tumor forming, and that associated with myeloma.

Recently a certain type of vitreous opacification has been recognized as being due to amyloidosis, thus making it possible to diagnose a systemic disease often undiagnosed during life. According to Kaufman,1 the opacities of the ocular vitreous resemble cotton-wool or glass-wool sheets when seen by the biomicroscope and can provide the necessary clue to the correct diagnosis. Kaufman reports on four patients with vitreous opacities due to deposition of amyloid and stresses the familial character of

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