A sparse, diffuse infiltrate of lymphocytes throughout the stroma of the carotid body appears to be an age-related change occurring in subjects over 50 years who show sustentacular cell proliferation around cell clusters or the effects of compression or ablation of glomic tissue by fibrous tissue (Hurst et al. 1985; see Chapter 4). In the elderly or aged, however, discrete, focal aggregations of lymphocytes are to be found. The appearances of these aggregates are so characteristic that they may be regarded as forming a distinct pathological entity which we have designated “chronic carotid glomitis” (Khan et al. 1989). In one study that we carried out, both carotid bodies were obtained at necropsy from each of 75 subjects, 38 male and 37 female, ranging in age from 14 to 90 years. The diffuse infiltration of lymphocytes ascribed to age and referred to above occurred on its own in 34 cases. It was found in two of 18 subjects under 50 years of age (11%) and in 32 of 57 subjects who were older than that (56%). In contrast, in 12 instances there were aggregates of lymphocytes which constitute chronic carotid glomitis.
KeywordsPlasma Cell Carotid Body Pulmonary Trunk Small Lymphocyte Lymphoid Aggregate
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