Carpal tunnel syndrome with cystic bone lesions secondary to amyloidosis in chronic hemodialysis patients

Am J Kidney Dis. 1986 Feb;7(2):130-4. doi: 10.1016/s0272-6386(86)80133-0.


Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is increasingly recognized in patients undergoing chronic hemodialysis. Although the etiology remains obscure, angioaccess-related vascular engorgement and edema, and ischemic neuropathy are two likely possibilities. Amyloidosis is a relatively rare cause of CTS and had previously been thought to occur almost exclusively in patients with multiple myeloma. We report seven patients on chronic hemodialysis who developed CTS and were shown to have amyloid deposition within the synovium. Amyloid was demonstrated by characteristic staining with Congo red on polarizing microscopy and confirmed by electron microscopy. Six patients also exhibited radiolucent carpal bone cysts which were histologically shown to be due to bone replacement by an amyloid-positive synovitis. The average age of the patient and time on dialysis were 59.1 and 7.9 years, respectively. Serum and urine immunoelectrophoresis and bone marrow aspirates showed no evidence for plasma cell dyscrasia in six patients, while one patient did manifest a monoclonal IgA spike. Autopsies in three patients and liver biopsy in another showed no other evidence for disseminated amyloid. These hemodialysis patients exhibited a unique syndrome of CTS, lytic lesions of the carpal bones, and amyloid deposition in the synovium and within the bone cysts.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amyloid / analysis
  • Amyloidosis / complications*
  • Bone Cysts / etiology*
  • Carpal Bones / pathology
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / etiology*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • Tenosynovitis / complications
  • Time Factors


  • Amyloid