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Three cases of systemic amyloidosis successfully diagnosed by subcutaneous fat tissue biopsy of the hip

Authors Arahata M, Shimadoi S, Yamatani S, Hayashi S, Miwa S, Asakura H, Nakao S

Received 15 April 2016

Accepted for publication 7 June 2016

Published 5 August 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 1061—1066

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S110636

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Supriya Swarnkar

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Masahisa Arahata,1 Shigeru Shimadoi,1 Satosi Yamatani,1 Shin-ichi Hayashi,2 Shigeharu Miwa,2 Hidesaku Asakura,3 Shinji Nakao4

1Department of Internal Medicine, Nanto Municipal Hospital, Nanto, 2Department of Diagnostic Pathology, Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toyama, Toyama, 3Department of Internal Medicine (III), 4Department of Cellular Transplantation Biology, Division of Cancer Medicine, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Japan

Abstract: Fine-needle aspiration biopsy of the abdominal fat pad is considered to be a minimally invasive procedure for diagnosing systemic amyloidosis. However, this procedure is sometimes difficult and can be dangerous for elderly patients whose abdominal fat layer is thin because of malnutrition. In such cases, alternative diagnostic methods are required. We report three elderly patients with heart failure complicated by malnutrition. In all cases, electrocardiogram showed low voltage in the limb leads and a pseudoinfarct pattern in the chest leads, and echocardiography showed left ventricular wall thickening with granular sparkling appearance. These patients were suspected of having amyloid cardiomyopathy but could not undergo myocardial biopsies because of their poor conditions. After failed attempts at biopsy of the abdominal fat pad or the other organs, subcutaneous fat tissue biopsy over the hip led to the diagnosis of systemic amyloidosis with cardiomyopathy. The resultant diagnosis guided us to choose the appropriate treatment for the patients. This article illustrates that subcutaneous fat tissue biopsy of the hip could be a useful procedure for diagnosing systemic amyloidosis in elderly patients, particularly when a fat tissue biopsy of the abdomen is associated with a high risk of complications because of malnutrition.

Keywords: systemic amyloidosis, amyloid cardiomyopathy, fine-needle aspiration biopsy, subcutaneous fat tissue, hip, abdominal fat pad

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