Polyvinylpyrrolidone deposition disease in patients with intravenous opioid use: a case series
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonHuman Pathology. 2021, 116, 102-111. 10.1016/j.humpath.2021.07.009
The polymer polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) is an excipient widely used in prescription drugs. Depending on the molecular weight (MW), parenterally administered PVP may accumulate in various tissues. Consequently, moderate and high MW PVP have only been used in oral preparations since the late 1970s. Surprisingly, starting in 2009, pathology departments in Norway received biopsies revealing PVP deposition, all from patients with a history of intravenous drug use. We identified 13 patients with PVP deposition and re-evaluated 31 biopsies and two autopsies. Common indications for biopsy were renal insufficiency, anemia, pathological fractures, and abdominal complaints. We observed PVP deposits in all biopsies (kidney, hematopoietic bone marrow, bone, gastrointestinal tract, lymph node, and skin) and all sampled tissue from the autopsies. Overall, the clinical findings could be related to PVP deposits in the biopsies. In the most seriously affected patients, PVP deposition caused severe organ dysfunction and contributed to the fatal outcomes of two patients. All patients except for one were prescribed opioid substitution drugs (OSDs), and most of the patients admitted to having injected such medications. Several OSDs contain PVP. One methadone formulation that was marketed in Norway from 2007 to 2014 contained large amounts of very high MW PVP, making it the most likely source of PVP deposition. Although the presumed source of PVP in these patients has now been withdrawn from the market, pathologists should be aware of PVP deposits when evaluating biopsies from this patient group.