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Amyloid. 2013 Mar;20(1):39-44. doi: 10.3109/13506129.2013.764284. Epub 2013 Jan 28.

Xerostomia in hereditary gelsolin amyloidosis.

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  • 1Department of Oral Biology, Institute of Dentistry, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.


Hereditary gelsolin amyloidosis (AGel amyloidosis) is a rare, dominantly inherited systemic disease with worldwide distribution, caused by c.654G > A or c.654G > T gelsolin gene mutation. The disease mainly manifests with late-onset dystrophy of the cornea, laxity of the skin and dysfunction of the cranial nerves whereas the oral manifestations have remained less-studied. To examine if AGel amyloidosis also affects salivary gland function, we studied 27 patients. In a questionnaire, 89% of them reported oral dryness, and 74% oral and ocular dryness. Unstimulated (UWS) and stimulated whole salivary flow (SWS) rates were measured, and salivary proteins were analyzed in the patients and controls. Hyposalivation according to UWS was detected in 67% of the patients, while decreased SWS occurred in 63% of the patients and 19% of the controls (p = 0.001). The secretion rates of salivary total protein and IgA were significantly lower in patients than controls. Histopathological analyses of labial salivary gland biopsies showed deposition of gelsolin amyloid, atrophy and inflammation. This study showed that AGel amyloidosis belongs to the differential diagnostic choices to be kept in mind in the patients presenting with xerostomia, low secretion rates of salivary total protein and IgA and/or deposition of amyloid in the minor salivary glands. AGel amyloidosis patients should be advised for efficient dental care.

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