To reassess the immunohistochemical distribution of pulmonary surfactant apoprotein A (SP-A) in relation to the causes of death, 282 forensic autopsy cases were reviewed. The most intense and dense granular immunostaining of intra-alveolar SP-A was observed in the hyaline membrane syndrome from various traumas, protracted death from drowning, and perinatal aspiration of amniotic fluid. Similar granular staining pattern was found in fatal poisoning by a muscle relaxant and organophosphate pesticides. An evident increase of intra-alveolar granular staining was noted in most fatalities from mechanical asphyxia and drowning, and some cases of fire death. SP-A staining was usually very weak or sparse in alcohol intoxication, poisoning by hypnotics and also carbon monoxide poisoning. These findings suggest that the amount of intra-alveolar granular SP-A staining may be a possible indicator of severity and duration of respiratory distress (agony) from peripheral (non-central nervous system) origin and alveolar damage. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.
- Forensic pathology
- Pulmonary surfactant apoprotein A
- Respiratory distress
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine