Myocyte vacuolization in infarct border zones is reversible

J. S. Pirolo, G. M. Hutchins, G. W. Moore

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    The nature of the changes occurring in the border zone of myocardial infarcts is uncertain. To study this question, the authors analyzed a number of morphologic features in hearts studied after postmortem arteriography and fixation in distention from 204 patients with single myocardial infarcts autopsied at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Vacuolization of myocytes was observed in 53 (26%) cases, predominantly in surviving subendocardium and trabecular myocardium within the infarct. Lateral myocardium seldom and subepicardial myocadium almost never showed vacuolar change. Myocyte vacuolization progressively developed and then decreased with time: 1/20 (5%) hearts with infarcts 365 days old. Reduction in vacuolization with time was not explained by necrosis of vacuolated cells; rather, the myocardium showed normal morphology. Presence of vacuolization in old infarcts was associated with severe multivessel coronary artery disease and endocardial fibroelastosis. The results suggest that infarct border zone myocyte vacuolization may be correctable by reversal of regional ischemia; however, only a trivial amount of myocardium, relative to infarct size, undergoes vacuolar change.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)444-450
    Number of pages7
    JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - 1985

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Myocyte vacuolization in infarct border zones is reversible'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Pirolo, J. S., Hutchins, G. M., & Moore, G. W. (1985). Myocyte vacuolization in infarct border zones is reversible. American Journal of Pathology, 121(3), 444-450.