VIRCHOW,1 in 1854, was the first to describe amyloid. The similarity of the staining properties of amyloid and starch with iodine and sulfuric acid prompted him to name the substance "amyloid." Several years later, Wilks2 described, in a paper entitled "Cases of Lardaceous Disease and Some Allied Infections," 2 cases, of the 36 presented, in which the autopsy findings were compatible with what was later classified as "primary" systemic amyloidosis. Wild,3 in 1886, reported the next case of amyloidosis.
"Primary" systemic amyloidosis is a relatively rare condition. In 1929 Lubarsch6 reported three cases of "primary" systemic amyloidosis and suggested criteria for the recognition of the disease. He also formulated a classification of the various forms of amyloidosis which is still in wide use today. By 1930 only 10 cases had been recorded in the literature. Koletsky and Stecher,7 in 1939, reviewed the 23 reported cases