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October 1965

Ascites in Systemic Amyloidosis

Author Affiliations


From the Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation. The Section of Medicine (Drs. Gregg and Bartholomew). Dr. Herskovic was a fellow in medicine in the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine (University of Minnesota).

Arch Intern Med. 1965;116(4):605-610. doi:10.1001/archinte.1965.03870040119024

SYSTEMIC amyloidosis with involvement of multiple organs may be manifested by various clinical syndromes. In the differential diagnosis of ascites, one seldom considers systemic amyloidosis as a potential etiologic factor. The occurrence of this seemingly unusual situation prompted us to review the problem of ascites associated with systemic amyloidosis. Among 103 patients with histologically proved systemic amyloidosis (59 with primary and 44 with secondary amyloidosis) we found ten patients, all with the primary form, who had clinically significant ascites. In this study we attempted to document the clinical circumstances of the ascites and to analyze in detail special studies performed on the ascitic fluid.

Analysis of Cases  Clinical and laboratory data on each patient are summarized in Tables 1 and 2. Of the ten patients with ascites, eight men and two women, nine were Caucasians and one was a Negro. Seven were in the fifth and sixth decades of life.