Autolysis of the granular layer of the cerebellar cortex in brain death
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In a study of duration of brain death, granular layer autolysis (GLA) of the cerebellar cortex was analyzed in 45 patients who died of acute cerebrovascular diseases (CVDs). Twelve patients who died of causes other than intracranial disease served as controls. Tonsillar herniation occurred in all who died of acute CVDs. More advanced GLA was seen in the central folia adjacent to the central white medullary body of the cerebellum as compared with the peripheral folia. Widespread GLA involving the most of the peripheral folia was found solely in patients in whom brain death had been present over 18 h. Of the 12 control patients, 4 showed GLA only in the central folia. Although GLA of the central folia might develop during immersion fixation of the brain, the alteration of the peripheral folia is assumed to develop in the period of brain death. Widespread GLA extending to the peripheral folia could be a pathological finding characteristic of brain death, where intracranial blood flow could be absent or significantly reduced. Brain death for little less than 1 day would be necessary for GLA to develop.
Key wordsCerebellum Granular layer Autolysis Brain death
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