April 1964

Causes of Intestinal Symptoms in Primary Amyloidosis

Author Affiliations

From the Medical Neurology Branch, National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness (Dr. Brody); the Pathologic Anatomy Branch, National Cancer Institute (Dr. Wertlake); and the Gastroenterology Unit, National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases (Dr. Laster), National Institutes of Health, Public Health Service, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

Arch Intern Med. 1964;113(4):512-518. doi:10.1001/archinte.1964.00280100020004

Gastrointestinal symptoms are common in patients with primary amyloidosis,1 and the digestive tract is often a site of amyloid deposition.2 Necrosis of a bowel segment was found at autopsy in one case of generalized amyloid disease,3 but acute intestinal infarction has not been reported, to our knowledge, as a clinical complication of amyloidosis.

We recently observed a patient with primary amyloidosis who developed a sudden infarct of the sigmoid colon. The resected bowel contained histologic changes that may shed light on the pathogenesis of the infarct and on the cause of the chronic gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with amyloidosis.

Report of a Case 

History.  —A 47-year-old man (NIH No. 00-85-53) was admitted to the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness, on the service of Dr. W. King Engel, with the chief complaint of a burning sensation in the hands and feet.The patient had been well

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