A 65-Year-Old Woman with an Enlarged Tongue Due to Amyloidosis

Am J Case Rep. 2022 Jun 13:23:e936192. doi: 10.12659/AJCR.936192.


BACKGROUND Amyloidosis is a clinical condition characterized by the extracellular deposition of insoluble, abnormal amyloid fibrils in various body tissues. It is generally categorized into 2 forms - localized and systemic - with a wide range of signs and symptoms. This case report discusses the localized amyloidosis involvement of the oral cavity and its treatment. CASE REPORT A 65-year-old woman presented to the oral medicine clinic reporting painless tongue enlargement, which has been slowly progressing over several years, leading to difficulty in tongue movement, eating, and swallowing. Extra-oral examination showed a prominent lower lip with rubbery consistency. Intra-oral examination revealed a significantly enlarged tongue almost filling the whole oral cavity with dental indentations evident on all tongue surfaces and multiple, deep ulcerative craters of various sizes ranging from 2 to 5 mm in diameter. Histopathological examination under light microscope using hematoxylin and eosinophil and Congo red stain were diagnostic for amyloidosis. Further investigation with the Rheumatology Department, including renal and liver function tests, as well as echocardiography, were conducted and ruled out systemic involvement of other body organs. The patient was treated with weekly intra-lesional triamcinolone injections, with significant improvement. CONCLUSIONS We report a rare case of localized amyloidosis presenting as macroglossia. Although the most effective management in tongue amyloidosis is surgical resection, conservative management in cases of localized oral amyloidosis presenting as macroglossia with weekly intra-lesional triamcinolone injections can be an effective approach, providing patients with better quality of life. Future studies exploring treatment modalities for similar cases with limited oral involvement are warranted.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Amyloidosis* / complications
  • Amyloidosis* / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Macroglossia* / congenital
  • Macroglossia* / etiology
  • Macroglossia* / pathology
  • Quality of Life
  • Tongue / pathology
  • Triamcinolone


  • Triamcinolone

Supplementary concepts

  • Congenital macroglossia