Localized primary (AL) amyloid tumor of the breast. Cytologic, histologic, immunocytochemical and ultrastructural observations

Am J Surg Pathol. 1986 Aug;10(8):539-45. doi: 10.1097/00000478-198608000-00003.


Two examples of localized primary amyloid tumor of the breast are presented, including one patient with metachronous bilateral lesions. Our findings and review of the literature indicate that this rare lesion occurs predominantly in elderly females and can be mammographically and clinically confused with carcinoma. Fine-needle aspiration biopsy can be a useful procedure to make a preliminary diagnosis. Congo red staining with prior potassium permanganate incubation confirmed the AL type of amyloid in our two cases; this might be the predominant type in the localized form involving the breast. Immunofluorescence studies demonstrated IgA, with kappa and lambda light-chain deposition within the amyloid foci in one case, and intracytoplasmic IgG with both light chains within plasma cells and amyloid deposits of the second case. Ultrastructural examination of one of the cases showed characteristic findings of straight, nonbranching fibrils of 4-9 nm, diagnostic of amyloid. From our findings and a review of the literature, we conclude that amyloid tumors of the breast can occur in three separate settings: secondary amyloidosis, systemic or multiple myeloma associated amyloidosis, and as a localized primary type having a benign course.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Amyloid / analysis
  • Amyloidosis / immunology
  • Amyloidosis / pathology*
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Breast / analysis
  • Breast Diseases / pathology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / immunology
  • Female
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis


  • Amyloid
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G