Immunohistochemical investigation of pulmonary surfactant-associated protein A in fatal poisoning

Bao Li Zhu, Kaori Ishida, Shigeki Oritani, Li Quan, Masaki Q. Fujita, Hitoshi Maeda, Masafumi Ogawa, Noriyuki Tanaka, Setsuo Komura, Tsutomu Tsuji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


To evaluate the immunohistochemical distribution of pulmonary surfactant-associated protein A (SP-A) in fatal poisoning in relation to the effects of drugs and poisons on respiratory function, 42 forensic autopsy cases were examined by scoring the staining intensity. The highest scores of SP-A staining, with dense granular deposits (aggregates) in the intra-alveolar space, were observed in fatalities from pancuronium bromide (muscle relaxant) injection and petroleum (butane) gas inhalation. Poisoning with organophosphate pesticides and arsenic (ingestion) showed a second grade SP-A score. However, The SP-A scores were relatively low in ethanol and sedative-hypnotic intoxication. Carbon monoxide intoxication showed a varied degree of SP-A score, and the aggregated SP-A score tended to be higher in cases of lower blood carboxyhemoglobin concentration. A varied SP-A score was also observed in methamphetamine fatalities, in which the score was relatively low in cases with a higher serum drug level. Increase of SP-A was not always associated with the intra-alveolar effusion or hemorrhages. The above-described observations suggested that the immunohistochemical score of SP-A may be a possible indication for intensity and duration of drug/poison-dependent respiratory distress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-212
Number of pages8
JournalForensic Science International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Apr 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Forensic pathology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Poisoning
  • Pulmonary surfactant-associated protein A
  • Respiratory distress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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