ROKITANSKY1 first described a disease entity in which many organs exhibited a firm waxy substance. Later Virchow2 noted that this substance stained blueblack with iodine and showed some similarity to starch. He therefore called this substance "amyloid" and the disease entity "amyloidosis." Wilks3 was the first to note that this disease followed chronic suppurative conditions.
It is customary to classify amyloidosis as (1) primary amyloidosis, also called systemic or focal amyloidosis, the etiology of which is unknown; (2) secondary amyloidosis, in which the disease is an end-result of other chronic diseases, such as ulcerative colitis, tuberculosis, bronchiectasis, osteomyelitis, or cancer, and (3) amyloidosis following multiple myeloma.
Amyloidosis, either primary or secondary, is still a relatively rare disease. Approximately 80 cases of primary amyloidosis have been reported to date.4
In primary amyloidosis the organs usually affected are the myocardium and skeletal muscles.5 Other organs, such as the spleen, liver, adrenals, and
JACKSON A. AMYLOIDOSISReport of Three Cases with Some Considerations as to Etiology and Pathogenesis. AMA Arch Intern Med. 1954;93(4):494–502. doi:10.1001/archinte.1954.00240280014002
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