Congo red screening of 27,052 routine biopsy specimens from 22,827 patients over a 5 1/2-year period in the Department of Pathology, University of Malaya detected 186 cases of amyloidosis. The categories of amyloidosis encountered and their prevalences in relation to each other were: systemic AL (5.9%); systemic AA (3.2%); isolated atrial (14%); primary localized cutaneous (7.5%); other primary localized deposits (3.2%); localized intratumour (58%); and dystrophic (8.6%). A third of patients with systemic AL amyloidosis had coexistent immunocyte abnormality. The commonest underlying pathology for systemic AA amyloidosis was leprosy. Notable among the types of localized amyloidosis revealed by this study were isolated atrial amyloidosis, which appeared to complicate chronic rheumatic heart disease, and intratumour amyloidosis complicating nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Other tumours in which amyloid deposits were observed included basal cell carcinoma, islet cell tumour and medullary carcinoma of the thyroid. Dystrophic amyloidosis was observed in fibrotic tissues, such as damaged cardiac valves and osteoarthritic joints. Heredofamilial amyloidosis, senile systemic amyloidosis and degenerative cerebral amyloidosis were notably absent from this study.
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