Amyloid Histopathology Laboratory

Dr. Eric Burks

Dr. Eric Burks directs our histopathology efforts to improve the diagnostic accuracy for patients with amyloid diseases.

Amyloid fibrils can be identified in tissue biopsy specimens and abdominal fat aspirates by Congo red staining visualized by light or polarized microscopy.

Fibrils can also be seen by electron microscopy. The chemical composition of the fibrils can be determined by immunohistochemical staining, immunoelectron microscopy, or by extraction and identification by biochemical and mass spectrophotometric techniques.

Monitoring of plasma cell activity in AL amyloidosis patients is carried out by bone marrow immunohistochemistry, and by immunofixation electrophoresis and measurement of free immunoglobulin light chains using the “Freelite” assay from the Binding Site, Inc., available on site in our Clinical Laboratory.

We strive for 100% complete and accurate diagnosis of amyloid diseases. The Gerry Amyloid Research Laboratory banks serum and tissues from patients with amyloid diseases, with permission from the BUMC Institutional Review Board.