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Title: Diagnosis of secondary amyloidosis in alkaptonuria.
Authors: Millucci, Lia 
Ghezzi, Lorenzo
Bernardini, Giulia 
Braconi, Daniela 
Lupetti, Pietro
Perfetto, F
Orlandini, Maurizio 
Santucci, Annalisa 
Issue Date: 2014
Project: None 
Background: Alkaptonuria (AKU) is an inborn error of catabolism due to a deficient activity of homogentisate 1,2-dioxygenase. Patients suffer from a severe arthropathy, cardiovascular and kidney disease but other organs are affected, too. We found secondary amyloidosis as a life-threatening complication in AKU, thus opening new perspectives for its treatment. We proved that methotrexate and anti-oxidants have an excellent efficacy to inhibit the production of amyloid in AKU model chondrocytes. Owing to the progressive and intractable condition, it seems important to detect amyloid deposits at an early phase in AKU and the choice of specimens for a correct diagnosis is crucial.Methods: Ten AKU subjects were examined for amyloidosis; abdominal fat pad aspirates, labial salivary gland, cartilage and synovia specimens were analysed by CR, Th-T, IF, TEM.Results: Amyloid was detected in only one abdominal fat pad specimen. However, all subjects demonstrated amyloid deposition in salivary glands and in other organ biopsies, indicating salivary gland as the ideal specimen for early amyloid detection in AKU.Conclusions: This is, at the best of our knowledge, the first report providing correct indications on the diagnosis of amyloidosis in AKU, thus offering the possibility of treatment of such co-morbidity to AKU patients.Virtual slides: The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here:
ISSN: 1746-1596
DOI: 10.1186/s13000-014-0185-9
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