PHAGOCYTIC ASTROCYTES AND NEURONS IN OLD ENCEPHALOMALACIA

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

Cytoplasmic accumulation of hemosiderin was observed within astrocytes and neurons as well as in other phagocytes associated with old encephalomalacia. The first patient was 3 years old when she died with malnutrition and superimposed infection. A cortical infarct had been caused by an old thrombus in a small artery. The second case was a 9-year-old girl who had old encephalomalacia in the pineal region after extirpation of a pineoloma. The third patient was a 22-year-old man who had a cortical infarct from an embolus associated with chronic rheumatic endocarditis. Granules of hemosiderin had accumulated within the perikaryon of many astrocytes and other phagocytes in all cases, and in a few neurons in the second instance. Review of the literature reveals that cytoplasmic accumulation of particulate matter has been described infrequently with regard to neuroepithelial derivatives. Our findings indicate that astrocytes and neurons as well as derivatives of mesenchyme may act as phagocytes of old blood.

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