[AA amyloidosis: a little-known complication of chronic leg ulcer].Ann Dermatol Venereol. 2008 Feb; 135(2):119-22.AD
AA amyloidosis, secondary to inflammatory chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, is often complicated by renal failure. Chronic inflammatory dermatoses constitute rare causes of AA amyloidosis.
We describe two cases of AA amyloidosis discovered after renal failure in patients presenting leg ulcers for several years. AL amyloidosis was suspected in both cases because of a history of monoclonal gammopathy in one patient and of plasmocytoma in the other. The diagnosis of AA amyloidosis was confirmed on renal histology through the detection of AA antibodies in amyloid deposits. No extrarenal amyloidosis was seen in either patient and there were no inflammatory diseases other than chronic leg ulcers.
AA amyloidosis is caused by serum amyloid protein A (SAA), a reactive inflammatory protein. AA amyloidosis is thus caused by chronic inflammatory diseases, but only rarely by cutaneous inflammatory diseases. To our knowledge, the literature contains only seven other published cases of AA amyloidosis secondary to chronic leg ulcers. A review of the literature does not indicate whether cure of ulcers has any effect on the accompanying renal failure. We imagine that AA amyloidosis secondary to leg ulcer is in fact under-diagnosed. However, since the first specific treatment for AA amyloidosis is currently being evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, it is essential that this serious complication of chronic leg ulcers be widely recognised.