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As you may recall, macroglossia (an enlarged tongue) is one of the many manifestations of amyloidosis, the systemic disorder in which a particular protein is deposited as Congo-red positive aggregations. You may also recall that amyloidosis can be divided into subtypes based on the amyloidogenic protein: for instance, there is AL amyloidosis (caused by deposition of Ig light chain, occuring in various paraproteinemias), AA amyloidosis (caused by deposition of serum amyloid A protein, elevated in inflammatory states), beta-2-microglobulin amyloidosis (caused by deposition of beta-2-microglobulin, usually in the joints, as a consequence of reduced middle molecule clearance in dialysis patients), etc. I learned today, however, that macroglossia is a unique complication of AL amyloidosis.

I have learned this, and many other renal factoids, at this year’s Massachusetts General Hospital 2009 Nephrology Update. It’s free for me (since I’m a fellow at MGH) and about 5 minutes from my house, and a way to force myself into doing at least a little bit of review for the Nephrology Boards. In any case, I have a whole list of new blog topics for the coming weeks…


  1. Hi Nathan!

    I am a medical doctor doing my speciality training in Nephrology, in another continent, in Sweden. I read with interest your blog, Renal fellow network, and I congratulate you for the very nice content and interesting posts that you come up with in this blog, holding my attention almost on daily basis, I go and check your blog to see more new news. I am an addict of the internet and information seeker especially in my field i mean Nephrology. Since i get very addicted to your website and to your way of writing and describing different nephrology-related subjects, I wonder if you have
    written lecture note or handouts or your notes or summary of all renal subjects….in your special way of writing…that will be a very great help for me…especially with many confusing textbooks and different sources of very diffuse information…i want it as you write it always, direct, concise and very simple language, with dialogue in you exactly do in your posts in your blog. I will be thankful if you supply me with this or if you can lead me to find such thing.

    With my regards and congratulations once more for the great website
    N.B: Answer me on this email.

  2. Macroglosia can be a feature in hypothyroidism also.

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