Recent studies, reported in the April issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, have revealed that clinical attacks of familial Mediterranean fever and renal amyloidosis are genetically determined by the same inborn error of metabolism, without a cause and effect relationship. Heller and co-workers from Israel have studied 141 patients who suffered from this malady. Forty-seven patients with renal disease were found in the period 1951-1953; of these, 12 died and 6 had a postmortem examination. In each, amyloid deposits, confined exclusively to the arterial vessels, kidneys, spleen, and adrenals, were the only significant pathological findings.
The diagnosis of amyloidosis was established in most of the 47 cases by means of a rectal biopsy, which the authors found to be a reliable tool. It was a simple procedure by contrast to the kidney biopsy. As a result of their biopsy findings, the 6 autopsies, and other laboratory studies, the authors