Advertisement

Archives of oto-rhino-laryngology

, Volume 243, Issue 4, pp 260–264 | Cite as

Generalized argyrosis in man: neurotological, ultrastructural and X-ray microanalytical findings

  • M. Westhofen
  • H. Schäfer
Article

Summary

Generalized argyrosis can produce a number of abnormalities, including skin discoloration, liver and kidney dysfunction. We describe a patient with generalized argyrosis following long-term self-treatment with oral silver intake, in whom skin discoloration, progressive taste and smell disorders, vertigo and hypesthesia were observed. These findings were confirmed by chemosensory tests and electrophysiological investigations. The development of hypogeusia was assessed by subjective tests, while the progression of hyposmia was followed by recording olfactory evoked cortical potentials. Light and electron microscopy of tissue samplings demonstrated electron-dense mineral deposits in basal membranes, in macrophages, in the perineurium of peripheral nerves, along elastic and collagenous fibers, and in necrotic cells of the oral submucosa. Silver and sulfur deposits in affected tissues could be defined by X-ray microanalysis. The quantitative ratio between silver and sulfur in involved tissues was similar to that of an inorganic silver-sulfide (Ag2S) standard. The minute increase in the sulfur content when compared to the inorganic standard suggested a sulfur containing organic matrix of the tissue precipitates. Our findings indicate that the affinity of silver for membrane and neuronal structures and the deposition of silver as an insoluble compound (Ag2S) induce the progression of clinical disease.

Key words

Argyria Chemosensory function Oral Mucosa Ultrastructure X-ray microanalysis 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Aaseth J, Olsen A, Halse J, Hovig T (1981) Argyria —tissue deposition of silver as selenide. Scand J Clin Lab Invest 41:247–251Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Blumberg H, Carey TN (1934) Argyremia. Detection of unsuspected and obscure argyremia by the spectrographic demonstration of high blood silver. JAMA 103:1521–1524Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bremen L van, Reger JF, Cooper WG (1956) Observations of the basement membranes in rat kidney. J Biophys Biochem Cytol 2:283–285Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Czitober H, Frischauf H, Leodolter I (1970) Quantitative Untersuchungen bei universeller Argyrose mittels Neutronenaktivierungsanalyse. Virchows Arch [A] 350:44–51Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Dempsey EW, Wislocki GB (1954) The use of silver nitrate as a vital stain, and its distribution in several mammalian tissues as studied with the electron microscope. J Biophys Biochem Cytol 1:111–118Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Goebel HH, Muller J (1973) Ultrastructural observations on silver deposition in the choroid plexus of a patient with argyria. Acta Neuropathol (Berl) 26:247–251Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Herberhold C, Westhofen M (1980) Zur Schadenstopik des Anosmie-Ageusie-Syndroms. Laryngol Rhinol 59: 570–574Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hönigsmann H, Konrad K, Wolff K (1973) Agyrose (Histologie und Ultrastraktur). Hautarzt 24:24–30Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Pariser RJ (1978) Generalized argyria. Clinicopathologic features and histochemical studies. Arch Dermatol 114: 373–377Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Prose PH (1963) An electron microscopic study of human generalized argyria. Am J Pathol 42:293–297Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sala A (1647) Opera medicochymica quae extant omnia; frustulatim hactenus diversisque linguis excusa, nunc in unum collecta latinoque idiomate edita. Beyeri, FrankfurtGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Schäfer H (1979) Zellcalcium und Zellfunktion. Fischer, StuttgartGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Tucker D (1971) Nonolfactory responses from the nasal cavity: Jacobson's organ and the trigeminal system. In: Beidler LM (ed) Handbook of sensory physiology, vol IV/1. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New YorkGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Westhofen M, Schäfer H, Seifert G (1984) Calcium redistribution, calcification and stone formation in the parotid gland during experimental stimulation and hypercalcaemia. Cytochemical and X-ray microanalytical investigations. Virchows Arch [A] 402:425–438Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Westhofen M, Herberhold C, Thayssen G, Tend HH (1985) Zur Entstehung olfaktorischer und rhinosensibler evozierter corticaler Potentiale bei Erkrankungen des Zentralnervensystems. Laryngol Rhinol Otol 64:378–387Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Wislocki GB, Leduc EH (1952) Vital staining of hematoencephalic barrier by silver nitrate and trypan blue and cytological comparisons of the neurohypophysis, pineal body, area postrema, intracolumnar tubercle and supraopticle crest. J Comp Neurol 96:371–413Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Yamamoto H, Schäfer H, Sakae T, Mishima H (1985) Phlebolithiasis associated with intramuscular hemangioma. X-ray microanalytical and scanning electron microscopic investigations. Pathol Res Pract (in press)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Westhofen
    • 1
  • H. Schäfer
    • 2
  1. 1.HNO-KlinikHamburg 20Deutschland
  2. 2.Institut für Pathologie des Universitätskrankenhauses Hamburg-EppendorfHamburg 20Deutschland

Personalised recommendations