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  • A c t a Path. Jap. 22(4): 833--841, 1972


    Teruo WATANABE, Hideki KISHIKAWA and Kenzo TANAKA

    Depscrtment of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Kyuahu University, Fukuoka

    Pulmonary lesions in systemic necrotizing angiitis are not fully understood. An attempt was made to analyze the anatomical features of the pulmonary lesions in some of the disorders included in this category, especially in periarteritis nodosa, allergic granulomatous angiitis and Wegeners granulomatosis.

    We refered to the reports by ZEEK (1952) ALARCON-SEGOVIA and BROWN (1964), PARONETTO (1969) and others for the classification of our autopsy materials which included 26 cases of periarteritis nodosa, 3 cases of allergic granulomatous angiitis and 8 cases of Wegeners granulomatosis.

    Periarteritis nodosa: It has been said that the lesions in periarteritis nodosa are uncommon in pulmonary vessels (ZEEK, 1952). ROSE and SPENCER (1957) class& ed periarteritis nodosa into 2 groups based on the presence or absence of lung involvement and claimed that both showed peculiar clinico-pathologic character- istics. However, there seems to be no doubt that many kinds of necrotizing angiitides are included in their material. The same comment should be made on SWEENEY and BAGGENSTOSS report (1949).

    In our 26 cases, the organs most frequently involved were the gastro-intestinal tract (88%), pancreas (84%), liver (83%), heart (77%), kidney (73%), periadrenal tissue (73%), and mesentery (73%). Among the reproductive organs, the most frequently involved was the testis (92%).

    The lung was involved in 12 cases (46%); the pulmonary artery in 6 cases (19%) and the bronchial artery in 8 cases (31%). Pulmonary arteritides were com- monin the medium- and small-sized muscular artery (Fig. 1). When there was extensive necrosis of the arterial wall, the lesions were found as nodular consolida- tion, where the surrounding pulmonary parenchyma showed a variety of severe alveolitis - cellular thickening of alveolar walls with exudation of some leuko- cytes, fibrin, and accumulation of macrophages (Fig. 2). Infarction was rather a rare occurrence in the lung.

    Typical hdings of periarteritis nodosa was, however, infrequent in pulmonary vessels, for many of the lesions showed rather mild arteritides of chronic inflamma-

    The spleen was involved in 45%.


    tion chiefly affecting the medial and adventitial layers. Around these lesions, one could iind frequently an alveolar inflammation with occasional formation of Masson bodies. Necrotizing alveolitis apart from the diseased muscular artery was noted in 2 cases.

    In one case with lung involvement, diffuse perivascular fibrosis in the sub- pleural area was an outstanding feature, which might be called postungiitic pulmonary Jibrosis. Vascular walls were heavily replaced by the fibrous tissue, which narrowed and occluded their lumina, and the disruption of elastic fibers was prominent. Neighboring alveoli were obliterated by proliferation of the connective tissue and were fused to each other, the original structure remaining only along the edge of the lesions (Fig. 3).

    The problem pertaining to the relationship of hypertension to periarteritis nodosa has not been settled. Among our cases, there was a case with pulmonary periarteritis which appeared to be probably related to the pre-existing pulmonary hypertension due to mitral stenosis. In this case, numerous nodular lesions were disseminated along the pulmonary arteries, in which a marked proliferation of granulation tissue was observed not only in the arterial walls but also extending outward through the adventitia (Fig. 4). Microscopic arteritides were found in other organs such as in the heart, liver, adrenals and testis, but the lung was un- doubtedly the most severely affected.

    Although the pulmonary arteries have been mentioned as being free from lesions, our observations suggested that they could be affected not so rarely in periarteritis nodosa of the classical variety, for many of the cases with lung involvement belonged to the macroscopic periarteritis nodosa frequently presenting various ages of lesions simultaneously in each individual. Brief analysis of the cases is summarized in Tables 1 and 2.

    A l k ~ g k granu1oma;tOus angiitis: CHURG and STRAUSS (1951) reported a clinical syndrome of asthma, fever and eosinophilia, which pathologically showed inflam- matory lesions and granulomatous foci in many organs. The vascular lesions are said to be similar to periarteritis nodosa, but small arteries and veins are more frequently involved. These lesions are usually widespread, and have a predilection in the pulmonary vessels and splenic foEcular arterioles. The inflammation is made up mainly of eosinophils, but the outstanding feature is the formation of granulomatous foci both within vessel walls and in connective tissue throughout the body. Eosinophilic infiltrate resembling that of Lofflers syndrome is another frequently associated finding.

    In our materials three cases were classified into allergic granulomatous angiitis. Pulmonary lesions in this disorder seemed to be summarized in the description of the following case.


    Table 1. Some Characteristics of Periarteritis Nodosa with (Macroscopic P N ) or without (Microscopic PN) Arterial

    Involvement of Macroscopic Sizes

    No. of wses Histological stage :

    Acute inflammation Granulomatous Chronic scar-forming

    Glomerulonephritis Arteritis

    Onion-skin lesion Follicular arteriolitis Trabecular arteritis

    Pulmonary arteritis Necrotizing alveolitis Bronchial arteritis

    Kidney :

    Spleen* :

    Lung :

    Macroscopic PN


    1 6 7

    4 12

    4 1 4

    4 2 4

    Microscopic PN


    6 5 3

    8 7

    4 2 1

    1 0 4

    * Histology of the spleen was examined in 11 cases of macroscopic, and 9 cases of microscopic PN, respectively.

    Table 2. Distribution of Rend, Splenic and Pulmonary Lesiona in Periarteritis Nodosa Divided into Three Stuges According to

    Histological Changes in Arteries

    I Histological Stages Acute 1 aammatory I Granulomatous Chronic scar-forming

    No. of cases Kidney :

    Glomerulonephritis Arteritis

    Onion-skin lesion Follicular arteriolitis Trabecular a h i t i s

    Pulmonary arteritis Necrotizing alveolitis Bronchial a rb i t i s

    Spleen* :

    Lung :

    1 1 1

    0 0 2


    4 7

    1 1 1

    1 0 4


    3 9

    6 1 3

    4 2 2

    * Histology of the spleen wm examined in 6 cmes of acute inflammatory, 0 cases of granulomatous, and 9 cases of chronic scar-forming stages, respectively.

    A 46-year-old housewife was admitted to the Nagoya Red Cross Hospital in April, 1966, because of attacks of asthma which had been occurring for 5 years. There was an allergic tendency in her family and one of her brothers had died of


    Fig. 1 A muscular branch of pulmonry artery showing chronic round cell infiltration H. and

    Fig. 2 A variety of alveolar Mammation around the necrotic adrial lesion in a case

    containing some eosinophilic leukocytes. E. x 210.

    of periadritis nodosa. H. and E. x 68.

    From a case of periarteritis nodosa.

    bronchial asthma. After admission, petechiae developed over the extremities, and genital bleeding associated with transient loss of her consciousness occurred. Examination of the peripheral blood revealed an eosinophilia of 41% in 28,200 of the total white cell count. Cortisone and ACTH treatment appeared to be suc- cessful. In June, chest roentgenogram revealed abnormal shadows on the left side, which spread bilaterally in July. Following the reduction of steroid, generalized edema and severe dyspnea developed. A marked eosinophilia of 7 1% in 66,400 of the total white cell count was observed. The patients condition deteriolated rapidly and she died on August 13, 1966.

    Autopsy disclosed necrotizing angiitis in many organs including the lung, heart, kidney, spleen, pancreas, liver, gall bladder, gastro-intestinal tract, mesen- tery, urinary bladder, ovaries and periadrenal tissue. The main blood vessels involved were small arteries, arterioles and those usually taken to be capillaries. Necrosis of vascular walls accompanied with a cellular exudate consisting largely of eosinophilic leukocytes was an outstanding feature in many organs, and granulomatous arteriolitis with giant cells was occasionally another feature of the lesions, especially in the spleen, lung, kidney and gall bladder. A variety of


    Fig. 3 Postangiitic pulmonary fibrosis from a case of periarteritis nodosa. Elastica

    Fig. 4 Changes of periarteritis nodosa in muscular branches of pulmonary artery from a van Gieson. x 20.

    case of long-standing chronic mitral stenosis. H. and E. x 35.

    interstitial inflammation in which eosinophilic leukocytes were the principal cel- lular element was observed in the lung, kidney, heart and gall bladder.

    The lung was voluminous, firm and rubbery in consistency. Approximately 200 ml of serous fluid was present in each pleural cavity. The alveolar walls were diffusely thickened by a cellular exudate consisting mainly of eosinophilic leukocy- tes, and alveoli contained frequently serum, red cells and fibrin. Another occa- sional finding was an accumulation of both eosinophilic leukocytes and desquamated epithelial cells in alveolar lumina. Masson bodies were frequently found (Fig. 6) . There was a prominent perivascular inflammatory process in wh