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Rev Mal Respir. 2011 May;28(5):691-5. doi: 10.1016/j.rmr.2010.09.036. Epub 2011 Apr 9.

[Enigmatic evolution of an association of pulmonary tuberculosis and amyloidosis].

[Article in French]

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Service de Pneumologie Ibn Nafiss, Hôpital Abderrahmen Mami, Ariana, Tunisie.



Amyloidosis is characterized by tissue deposits of amyloid material. Secondary amyloidosis can occur as a sequel to pulmonary tuberculosis over a relatively long period. However, this was not the case with our patient. Subsequently we conducted a literature review to try to explain the unusual course of AL amyloidosis in our patient.


A 36- year-old patient was admitted to our department for investigation of haemoptysis. A diagnosis of primary pulmonary tuberculosis was made and antituberculous treatment was started. On the second day of treatment, a haematoma appeared on the sole of the right foot, which spread down to the toes during the following days. Renal investigations showed a 24h proteinuria of 9 g/L and serum protein electrophoresis revealed an albumin level of 11.8 g/L. A diagnosis of nephrotic syndrome was made. A renal biopsy was indicated but this was not possible on account of a marked worsening of the patient's condition after 14 days of treatment. The patient's level of consciousness deteriorated and he was transferred to the intensive care unit for ventilation. He died 48 hours later. Post-mortem histological examination of pulmonary and cutaneous tissue revealed AL amyloid deposits.


In view of the association of active pulmonary tuberculosis and a pulmonary localisation of amyloidosis, a causal relationship is not definite. Coexistence of active pulmonary tuberculosis and primary amyloidosis must also be considered, particularly as the immunohistochemical characterisation revealed AL amyloidosis.

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