Objectives - Type IV collagen (IV-C) abnormalities of skin and serum have been reported in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, there has been no study of urinary IV-C in ALS. The present study investigates urinary IV-C and the relation to its skin content in patients with ALS. Material and methods - We studied IV-C immunoreactivity of skin and measured urinary levels of IV-C in ALS patients and controls. Results - The basement membrane as well as blood vessels of skin in ALS patients was weakly positive for IV-C as compared with those of controls. Immunostaining became even weaker as ALS progressed. The urinary level of IV-C in ALS patients was significantly decreased as compared to diseased controls (P<0.001) and healthy controls (P<0.001), and was negatively and significantly associated with duration of symptoms (r=-0.85, P<0.001). There was an appreciable positive correlation between urinary IV-C levels and the density for IV-C immunoreactivity in ALS patients (r=0.84, P<0.01). Conclusion - These data suggest that a metabolic alteration of IV-C may occur in ALS patients and decreased levels of urinary IV-C may be related to the decreased IV-C immunoreactivity of skin in ALS.