OBJECTIVE: To document the presence of Anitschkow nuclear changes (ANC) in pericardial mesothelium at autopsy after the incidental finding of ANC in pericardial scrapings from a fatal case of overwhelming sepsis. STUDY DESIGN: Fourteen, nonconsecutive autopsy cases were studied. Using the edge of a scalpel, the visceral pericardium from the left ventricle was scraped, and the sample was smeared onto glass slides, fixed in 95% ethanol, Papanicolaou stained and evaluated for the presence of ANC. Histologic correlation was also performed. RESULTS: ANC were observed in pericardial mesothelial cells in 6 of 14 cases. Sepsis was the cause of death in three. Fatal cardiac arrhythmia, T-cell lymphoma and fulminant hepatic necrosis were found in the remaining cases. While readily seen in cytologic preparations, ANC were found focally in only one case examined histologically. CONCLUSION: Postmortem cytologic evaluation provides information relevant to the autopsy. In this study, ANC were very clearly seen in six pericardial scrapings. Clinical correlation supports the current theory that ANC represent a nonspecific reactive cell change.
- Anitschkow nuclear changes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine