Sonographic features of dialysis-related amyloidosis of the shoulder

R. Sommer, G. J. Valen, Y. Ori, T. Weinstein, M. Katz, D. Hendel, A. Korzets*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study evaluated the diagnostic role of ultrasonography in dialysis-related amyloidosis in shoulders of chronically hemodialyzed patients. Fourteen shoulders of 12 long-term hemodialysis patients were examined. All patients had been on dialysis for at least 10 years. All patients had varying degrees of pain and limitations of movement in the studied shoulders. Dialysis-related amyloidosis was the presumed diagnosis in all patients. Any patient with a history of any disease, other than dialysis-related amyloidosis, capable of producing a pathologic shoulder condition was excluded. The following parameters were studied: supraspinatus and biceps tendon thickness, tendon tears, synovial thickening, and the presence of hypoechoic material around tendons and within bursae. All shoulders had a nonhomogeneous thickening, greater than 7 mm, of the supraspinatus tendon. Seven shoulders (50%) had abnormal thickening of the biceps tendon (4 mm or greater), and two shoulders had abnormal thickening of the s ubscapularis tendon. Hypoechoic deposits were seen in the subdeltoid bursae and biceps sheaths in five and six shoulders, respectively. Three shoulders showed partial tears of the supraspinatus tendon, one shoulder showed a tear in the biceps tendon, and one shoulder had a tear in the subscapularis tendon. Ultrasonography is an excellent imaging modality in diagnosing the presence of dialysis-related amyloidosis in symptomatic shoulders of long-term hemodialysis patients, without having to resort to invasive procedures. The results of previous studies have been confirmed and new ultrasonographic findings described. Of particular interest is the involvement of the subscapularis tendon in dialysis-related amyloidosis. Repeat ultrasonography can become an important way to follow-up progression of shoulder dialysis-related amyloidosis in hemodialyzed patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)765-770
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Ultrasound in Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Amyloidosis, dialysis-related
  • Hemodialysis
  • Shoulder, dialysis-related amyloidosis


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