Brooks, S. E. H.; Golden, Michael H.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Pathology; Tropical Metabolism Research Unit
Pathology of the lungs in childhood malnutrition in Jamaica: Light and electron microscopy
West Indian Medical Journal
Date of Publication
The autopsy records of 115 children with severe protein-energy malnutrition were reviewed. Sections of the lung histology showed evidence of bacterial pneumonia in 49% of cases. An additional 18% showed bronchitis, bronchiolitis or interstitial pneumonitis. Aspiration of gastric contents was evident in 10% of cases; 6% showed pulmonary oedema and congestion. In the remaining cases, no lung pathology was identified (17%). In 8 cases, rapid autopsy examination permitted fixation of lung tissue for electron microscopy. These included 4 cases of bronchopneumonia, one of which was associated with viral pneumonia. Another interstitial pneumonitis, probably of viral aetiology, was also studied. Both these virus-associated cases showed loss of type I pneumocytes and hyperplasia of type II pneumocytes. Another patient with herpes simplex hepatitis showed necrotic emboli in pulmonary capillaries with virions, as well as colonies of interstitial bacteria. One patient with acute pulmonary oedema displayed severe endothelial cell swelling on electron microscopy. In one case, there was no evidence of respiratory changes, apart from desquamation of type I pneumocytes. Useful information can be obtained on the fine structure of the lung, using samples taken soon after death....