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Validation of Ultrastructural Analysis of Mitochondrial Deposits in Cardiomyocytes as a Method of Detecting Early Acute Myocardial Infarction in Humans

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In the present study, ultrastructural analysis of mitochondrial deposits (black dots within mitochondria) as a method for the detection of early acute myocardial infarction (AMI) was evaluated. In 24 patients with AMI and six controls, analysis was performed in the heart of infarcted patients and noninfarcted controls. In the infarction area in lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)-diagnosed AMI, the percentage of positive mitochondria was significantly higher compared to corresponding heart tissue in control patients and compared to noninfarcted areas within these patients. Also in patients with a clinically diagnosed AMI but no LDH decoloration, a significant higher percentage of positive mitochondria was found in the left ventricle compared to controls and noninfarcted areas. In patients with AMI, an increase in mitochondria with deposits was found in the infarction area compared to controls and noninfarcted tissue within the same patient, suggesting that electron microscopical changes in mitochondria can be used for the diagnosis of AMI less than 3 h old.

Keywords: acute myocardial infarction; autopsy; electron microscopy; forensic pathology; forensic science; mitochondria

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Pathology, VU Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Publication date: July 1, 2010


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