Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 205–211 | Cite as

Ultrastructural appearances of the spinal microvasculature between 12 hours and 5 days after impact injury

  • Ian R. Griffiths
  • M. McCulloch
  • R. A. Crawford
Original Investigations


The ultrastructural appearance of the spinal microvasculature was studied from 12 h to 5 days after an impact injury. At 12 h after impact many vessels were normal but astrocytic swelling and protein extravasation were common and with greater impacts, more vessels contained cell aggregates. Neutrophils were common in the perivascular spaces (PVS). At 48 hours the cytoplasm of some endothelial cells was “watery” and swollen and contained vesico-tubular profiles. Other endothelial cells and some pericytes contained numerous free ribosomes, increased rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER) and occasional lipid inclusions. By 3 days the PVS contained numerous reactive cells with an increased number of ribosomes, both free and attached. Most of these cells were probably derived from circulating monocytes. By 5 days there was a decrease in ribosomal numbers compared to those seen earlier but vesicles, Golgi apparatus and multivesicular bodies were prominent. The PVS contained numerous macrophages and increased numbers of fibroblasts. From 49 h to 5 days small vessels with endothelial cells, pericytes and basement membranes and one or more rudimentary lumina were found. Occasional cell/basement membrane profiles with no lumina were encountered. These various structures are thought to represent regenerating new vessels.

Key words

Spinal cord injury Microvasculature Endothelial cell degeneration and regeneration New vessel formation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian R. Griffiths
    • 1
  • M. McCulloch
    • 1
  • R. A. Crawford
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Veterinary SurgeryUniversity of Glasgow, Veterinary SchoolGlasgowScotland

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