The diagnosis of synovial amyloidosis is based upon synovial biopsy. Synovial fluid (SF) in seven patients with amyloid arthropathy associated with chronic renal failure undergoing haemodialysis were studied. The SF and synovial samples of 10 consecutive patients with seronegative mono- or oligoarthritis served as controls. Six of the seven patients with amyloid positive synovial biopsy specimens showed amyloid in their SF. No amyloid was found in the synovial tissue or fluid of the 10 patients in the control group, the sensitivity being 87.7%. The finding of amyloid in SF was highly reproducible, showing its presence in the same joint on several occasions. The deposits were Congophilia resistant to potassium permanganate pretreatment, and the immunohistochemical analysis proved that they contained beta 2 microglobulin. The high sensitivity and good reproducibility of the method shows that the finding of amyloid in SF is sufficient for the diagnosis of synovial amyloidosis. It is possible to perform immunohistochemical analysis on the SF sediment. Amyloid arthropathy can therefore be added to the list of conditions in which synovial fluid examination can be clinically helpful.
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