AA protein-related renal amyloidosis in drug addicts

Am J Pathol. 1983 Aug;112(2):195-9.


Reports of renal amyloidosis occurring among narcotic addicts have been limited, for the most part, to case reports. In a prospective survey of 150 addicts examined at autopsy in the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York, 7 cases of renal amyloidosis were found. Immunohistologic examination demonstrated that in all of the 7 cases, the amyloid was AA protein-related. The amyloid extracted from the kidneys of two addicts and analyzed biochemically did not differ from the AA amyloid secondary to chronic infectious and inflammatory diseases. The combined data of previous reports and the present survey demonstrate that addicts who are subcutaneous users with skin infections most frequently develop amyloidosis. Our data demonstrating renal amyloidosis in 26% of addicts with chronic suppurative skin infections suggest that such addicts are at high risk for the development of amyloidosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Amyloid / analysis*
  • Amyloidosis / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney / analysis
  • Kidney Diseases / etiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Weight
  • Serum Amyloid A Protein / analysis*
  • Skin Diseases, Infectious / complications*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications*


  • Amyloid
  • Serum Amyloid A Protein