Cases reported "Wallerian Degeneration"

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1/2. A histopathological analysis of the human cervical spinal cord in patients with acute traumatic central cord syndrome.

    STUDY DESIGN: We have applied conventional histochemical and morphometric techniques to study the changes within the human spinal 'hand' motor neuron pool after spinal cord injury in patients who presented with acute traumatic central cord syndrome (ATCCS). OBJECTIVE: To determine whether a reduction of large alpha motor neurons at the C7, C8 and T1 spinal cord levels underlies the mechanism which causes hand dysfunction seen in patients with (ATCCS). BACKGROUND: The etiology of upper extremity weakness in ATCCS is debated and injury and/or degeneration of motor neurons within the central gray matter of the cervical enlargement has been advanced as one potential etiology of hand weakness. methods: The spinal cords of five individuals with documented clinical evidence of ATCCS and three age-matched controls were obtained. The ATCCS spinal cords were divided into acute/sub-acute (two cases) and chronic (three cases) groups depending on the time to death after their injury; the chronic group was further subdivided according to the epicenter of injury. We counted the motor neurons using light microscopy in 10 randomly selected axial sections at the C7, C8 and T1 spinal cord levels for each group. We also analyzed the lateral and ventral corticospinal tracts (CST) in all groups for evidence of wallerian degeneration and compared them to controls. RESULTS: A primary injury to the lateral CST was present in each case of ATCCS with evidence of wallerian degeneration distal to the epicenter of injury. There was minimal wallerian degeneration within the ventral corticospinal tracts. In the chronic low cervical injury group, there was a decrease in motor neurons supplying hand musculature relative to the other injury groups where the motor neurons sampled at the time of death were not reduced in number when compared to the control group. CONCLUSIONS: We hypothesize that hand dysfunction in ATCCS can be observed after spinal cord injury without any apparent loss in the number of motor neurons supplying the hand musculature as seen in our acute/sub-acute (n=2) and our chronic high injury (n=1) groups. The motor neuron loss seen in the chronic low level injury was felt to be secondary to the loss of C7, C8, and T1 neurons adjacent to the injury epicenter.
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2/2. guillain-barre syndrome in northern china. The spectrum of neuropathological changes in clinically defined cases.

    The pathology of the guillain-barre syndrome remains controversial, and autopsied cases available for study by contemporary techniques are uncommon. Large numbers of cases clinically diagnosed as guillain-barre syndrome occur in northern china. In this study we examined the neuropathological changes in 12 autopsied cases from Hebei Province, china. Eleven died early in the course of their disease. In all cases tissue was specially handled and fixed for electron microscopy and for immunocytochemistry. Three of these 12 cases had typical acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (AIDP) with lymphocytic infiltration and macrophage-mediated demyelination, reproducing the pathological picture most often reported in guillain-barre syndrome in north america, europe, and australia. Six cases had predominantly axonal involvement, characterized by Wallerian-like degeneration of nerve fibres, with only minimal demyelination and with minimal inflammation in five. Three cases, even though paralysed at the time of death, had only very mild changes in the spinal roots and sciatic nerves. Within the group of six predominantly axonal cases, there were important differences both in the severity of the abnormalities and in the classes of fibres involved. Three cases had extensive Wallerian-like degeneration of sensory as well as motor fibres [acute motor-sensory axonal neuropathy (AMSAN)], while in the other three cases the fibre degeneration affected the motor nerve fibres almost exclusively. These latter cases establish a structural basis for the clinical and electrophysiological picture termed the acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN) pattern. In both the AMAN and the AMSAN patterns, a prominent feature was the presence of macrophages within the periaxonal space, surrounding or displacing the axon, and surrounded by an intact myelin sheath. These studies show that the early pathological changes in cases clinically diagnosed as the guillain-barre syndrome are diverse and not restricted to the well-known pattern of AIDP, and that the predominant pathological patterns may differ in different parts of the world. The differences in pathological findings between acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy and the axonal patterns are likely to reflect differences in the pathogenetic mechanisms. The periaxonal macrophages in the axonal patterns suggest that an important epitope may be localized to the axolemma or periaxonal space. The mild cases indicate that severe paralysis can occur early in guillain-barre syndrome without prominent structural changes along the nerve, suggesting that physiological block or nerve terminal changes may be implicated.
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