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Am J Pathol. 1979 Oct;97(1):43-58.

The potassium permanganate method. A reliable method for differentiating amyloid AA from other forms of amyloid in routine laboratory practice.


Alterations in affinity of amyloid for Congo red after incubation of tissue sections with potassium permanganate, as described by Wright el al, were studied. The affinity of amyloid for Congo red after incubation with potassium permanganate did not change in patients with myeloma-associated amyloidosis, familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy, medullary carcinoma of the thyroid, pancreatic island amyloid, and cerebral amyloidosis. Affinity for Congo red was lost after incubation with potassium permanganate in tissue sections from patients with secondary amyloidosis and amyloidosis complicating familial Mediterranean fever (consisting of amyloid AA). Patients with primary amyloidosis could be divided into two groups, one with potassium-permanganate--sensitive and one with potassium-permanganate--resistant amyloid deposits. These two groups correlated with the clinical classification in typical organ distribution (presenting with nephropathy) and atypical organ distribution (presenting with cardiomyopathy, nephropathy, and glossopathy) and the expected presence of amyloid AA or amyloid AL. Potassium permanganate sensitivity seems to be restricted to amyloid AA. The potassium permanganate method can be important in dividing the major forms of generalized amyloidosis in AA amyloid and non-AA amyloid. This can be used for differentiating early stages of the disease and cases otherwise difficult to classify. It is important to define patient groups properly, especially in evaluating the effect of therapeutic measures. (Am J Pathol 97:43--58, 1979).

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