Amyloidosis in chronic heroin addicts with the nephrotic syndrome

Ann Intern Med. 1979 Jul;91(1):26-9. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-91-1-26.


Four chronic heroin addicts had renal amyloidosis and the nephrotic syndrome. Amyloidosis had the secondary type of tissue distribution and developed after many years of addiction. That chronic immunologic stimulation by one or more exogenous antigens or multiple acute inflammatory episodes were important factors in the pathogenesis of amyloidosis in these patients is postulated. Amyloidosis, although uncommon, must be considered among the different types of renal involvement that are known to occur in drug addicts, especially those with the nephrotic syndrome, and amyloid should be specifically searched for in their renal biopsies.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amyloidosis / complications*
  • Amyloidosis / etiology
  • Amyloidosis / pathology
  • Autopsy
  • Biopsy
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Heroin Dependence / complications*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / complications*
  • Kidney Diseases / etiology
  • Kidney Diseases / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / etiology*