[Histopathological study of valvular deposits of amyloid protein in cardiac amyloidosis].J Cardiol. 1996; 27 Suppl 2:31-7; discussion 38.JC
Cardiac amyloidosis is associated with amyloid deposits in cardiac valves which also show the thickening of leaflets and cusps. This study examined amyloid deposits on cardiac valves to investigate the possible involvement in echocardiographic valvular abnormalities in 17 patients with systemic amyloidosis (12 males and 5 females aged 44 to 82, mean 66.4 years) in the autopsy files of the National Cardiovascular Center between 1980 and 1993. All four cardiac valves were examined histologically using hematoxylin-eosin and Congo red stains with polarization. All cusps and leaflets were divided into six segments and all segments of each cusp and leaflet were scored for the proportional area of amyloid deposit (from 0 to 3). The immunohistochemical types of amyloid proteins were immunoglobulin light chain-related (AL) amyloidosis in 16 cases, and amyloid A-related (AA) amyloidosis in one case. Twelve of 16 cases with AL amyloidosis were subclassified as AL lambda type and 4 were subclassified as AL kappa type. In the atrioventricular valve leaflets, the atrial side of basal portion showed the most remarkable amyloid deposits among the six segments. In the semilunar valves, amyloid deposits were mild in the tip and middle portions. Among the patients with AL amyloidosis, those with AL lambda type amyloid appeared to have greater deposits than those with AL kappa type amyloid. Mitral valves appearing abnormal by echocardiography had greater amyloid deposits. However, considering other factors affecting valvular function, the relationship between the localization or the degree of amyloid deposition and endocardiographic valvular abnormalities was unclear.