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A Journal on Forensic Medicine




Minerva Medicolegale 2007 September;127(3):171-88

language: Italian

Histological and immunohistochemical alterations in traumatic brain injuries

De Ferrari F., Manzoni S

Cattedra di Medicina Legale Università degli Studi di Brescia, Brescia


Aim. A case series of 94 subjects (73 males and 21 females), died for brain trauma and with survival periods varying from hours to months, has been studied in order to verify the histochemical and immunohistochemical methods used in evaluating brain injury chronology.
Methods. The following histochemical staining methods were used (besides HE): Perls-staining, to show iron-deposits in macrophages after hemolytical processes; Mallory-staining, to show neuroglial fibres, but also fibrin and collagen; the Klüver-Barrera-staining to show mielin and Bielschowsky-staining, that uses argyrophilic neuron proprieties. In addition the following antigens were detected by immunohistochemistry using antibodies against GFAP, CD15 and HSP 70.
Results. The main histomorphological parameters obtained (brain swelling, red blood cells lymphocyte macrophages infiltration, neuronal pallor, cell-pyknosis, hyperchromasia, retraction balls, axonal retraction, as well as gliosis, and astrocyte, polymorphonuclear, and neuronal activation) allowed a possible application of the methods studied to determine brain injury chronology.
Conclusion. The possibility of determining brain injury chronology, using the histomorphological parameters considered, has been confirmed by our results, particularly regarding polymorphonuclear and macrophagic cell reaction, astrocyte and mesenchymal activation.

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