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Differential accumulation of pulmonary and cardiac mast cell-subsets and eosinophils between fatal anaphylaxis and asthma death - A postmortem comparative study
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Medical Microbiology . Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
2007 (English)In: Forensic Science International, ISSN 0379-0738, Vol. 169, no 1, 43-49 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The distribution profile of infiltrated mast cell-subpopulations and eosinophils in the lung and heart sections of the patients who died of severe allergic hyperresponsiveness, was investigated. Four study groups were designed comprising 9 cases who died in systemic anaphylaxis (Group I), 10 asthmatic individuals whose death were assigned to acute and severe bronchial asthma (Group II), 10 asthmatic cases who died from non-immunological diseases (Group III). Twenty consecutive autopsies of non-allergic subjects who died of unnatural causes (Group IV) served as control group in this study. Utilizing antibodies against human tryptase and chymase and a double immunohistochemical staining method, we distinguished successfully all three subsets of mast cells (MC), MC-TC (containing both tryptase and chymase), MC-T (containing only tryptase) and MC-C (containing only chymase) types, subdivided on the basis of the protease compositions of their secretory granules. In order to immunostaining eosinophils, we used antibody to major basic protein as a marker. We also measured postmortem blood tryptase, specific and total serum IgE. The intriguing finding of this study was the marked differences of cellular composition in the lung between fatal anaphylaxis and asthma death Significant augmentation of MCs infiltrated in lung and heart sections of anaphylaxis patients and drastic infiltration of bronchial eosinophils in asthmatic death and consequent release of their related inflammatory mediators might explain the differential expression of the associated symptoms in these two groups. The anaphylactic deaths did show neither emphysema nor significant mucous bronchial secretions whereas all asthmatic deaths did. The degree of pulmonary congestion and edema was also more severe in anaphylaxis. This corresponded with the histological findings and the location and number of mast cell-subsets and eosinophils in the different compartments of the lungs. We have demonstrated that the third type of mast cell MC-C is only found in the lungs in anaphylactic deaths. The practical consequence of our study will be that it is now possible to confirm a suspicion of anaphylaxis death not only by measurements of serum mast cell tryptase, but also by immunohistochemical methods.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 169, no 1, 43-49 p.
Keyword [en]
mast cell-subsets; eosinophils; asthma bronchial; anaphylaxis; sudden death
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-53632DOI: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2006.08.001OAI: diva2:290301
Available from: 2010-01-26 Created: 2010-01-26 Last updated: 2010-01-26

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Perskvist, NasrinEdston, Erik
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Medical Microbiology Faculty of Health SciencesDepartment of Clinical and Experimental Medicine
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