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Ultrastructure of voluntary muscle in childhood malnutrition.

Authors
  • Brooks, S E
Type
Published Article
Journal
West Indian Medical Journal
Publisher
West Indian Medical Journal
Publication Date
Dec 01, 1995
Volume
44
Issue
4
Pages
133–139
Identifiers
PMID: 8838051
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

This paper is part of a study on the electron microscopy of protein-energy malnutrition, using a rapid autopsy protocol. Samples of voluntary muscle, obtained from eight children dying of severe oedematous malnutrition, were fixed in glutaraldehyde within 75 minutes of death. Atrophy of myofibres, increased prominence of satellite cells, and segmental necrobiosis were seen by light microscopy. Electron microscopy showed variable depletion of myofibrils. In the most severe case, there was focal absence of myofibrils, also disorganized Z lines, and absent M bands. Residual atrophic myofibrils measured less than 0.1 micron in width. Other specimens showed sarcomere disorganization, mitochondrial swelling, glycogen depletion, sarcoplasmic oedema, and focal contractions of sarcomeres. Though non-specific, rigor may be accelerated by free radical damage, calcium release into the cytosol, and low supplies of high-energy phosphates. These conditions may exist in severe malnutrition, complicated by terminal infection and metabolic disturbances.

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