A clinico-neuropathological study on brain death

N Ujihira, Y Hashizume, A Takahashi
1993 Nagoya journal of medical science  
A clinico-neuropathological study was conducted on 60 cases of brain death, 36 males and 24 females, ranging in age from 11 to 81 years, the average being 49.4 years. Of these, 29 patients died of cerebrovascular disease. The average duration of brain death was 99 hours. The mean weight of the brain was 1466 g. Neuropathological findings were brain edema, congestion, herniation and various subarachnoid hemorrhages. Histologically, the cytoplasm of neurons was pale and ghost-like. In the white
more » ... tter, myelin staining was pale, and nuclei of the glial cells were shrunken and piknotic. Autolysis of the cerebellar granular layer and the pituitary gland was evident in all cases. No reactive astrocytosis or infiltration of the cells in or around necrotic tissue could be seen. In eight cases, there was laminar infiltration of neutrophils in the superficial area of the cerebrum and brain stem, possibly due to temporary or partial recirculation. Correlation between the degree of autolysis and duration of brain death was observed, but no relationship between the degree of autolysis and the difference of underlying disease could be found. Autolysis in the cerebral cortex, thalamus, tegmentum of the brain stem, cerebellar granular layer and pituitary gland was most prominent. However, neuropathological diagnosis of underlying diseases could be made even in brain death. Histologically, the cases of brain death differed from those of cardiac arrest-induced encephalopathy and from those of long postmortem autopsy.
pmid:7898557 fatcat:4s7e65gsrngdbbzzd32lmuzlru