Macroglossia secondary to systemic amyloidosis: case report and literature review

Ear Nose Throat J. 2005 Jun;84(6):358-61.


Amyloidosis is characterized by an abnormal extracellular deposition of amyloid in different tissues and organs, where it usually causes some type of dysfunction. Its cause is unknown. The two main forms of amyloidosis are systemic and localized; the latter is rare. No satisfactory treatment for systemic amyloidosis has been discovered, and mean survival is poor, ranging from 5 to 15 months depending on the presence or absence of multiple myeloma. We report a case of primary systemic amyloidosis in a 71-year-old man. The diagnosis of amyloidosis was established by tongue biopsy, and its systemic nature was identified by analysis of aspirated abdominal fat. At the 1-year follow-up, the patient's clinical condition had not changed, and he was thereafter lost to follow-up.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Amyloidosis / complications*
  • Amyloidosis / physiopathology
  • Deglutition Disorders / etiology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Macroglossia / diagnosis*
  • Macroglossia / etiology
  • Male
  • Submandibular Gland Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed