Microscopic Examination of Grossly Unremarkable Pediatric Dura Mater

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The histologic characteristics of grossly unremarkable pediatric dura mater obtained at autopsy are not well defined. The microscopic examination of pediatric dura mater is often undertaken to look for evidence of recent, resolving, or remote craniocerebral trauma. Pathologic processes cannot be defined without knowledge of expected histology, however. In this study, we examined grossly unremarkable dura mater from 11 children, utilizing hematoxylin and eosin, iron, CD-34, CD-68, and epithelial membrane antigen stains. Pediatric dura mater is a relatively vascular tissue, particularly on its internal and external surfaces. Several sections contained iron deposits. Almost all of the para-sagittal and many of the lateral dura mater sections contained intradural blood, whereas dura mater attached to bone did not. Intradural blood could arise by several mechanisms, including the act of removing the dura mater from the calvarium during the autopsy. CD-34 staining showed potential as a means to differentiate the internal from the external dural surfaces. Familiarity with the histologic features of pediatric dura mater is crucial for the correct interpretation true dura mater pathology.

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