Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spaghetti and meatball appearance

By adulthood, most people are infected with the JC virus which is named from the initials of John Cunningham a patient who was afflicted by this virus.
Usually, the JC virus causes no problems for infected persons unless their immune system is compromised by AIDS, organ transplantation, some cancers, the use of certain drugs and so on.
Oligodendrocytes, the cells which form myelin that insulates nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord thereby facilitating efficient transmission of nerve impulses are infected by the JC virus.
On electron microscopy of oligodendrocytes in progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) a serious disease caused by the JC virus, virus particles appear as both filamentous and spherical forms resembling spaghetti and meatballs respectively.
Smith AB, Smirniotopolous JG, Rushing EJ. From the archives of the AFIP: central nervous system infections associated with human immunodeficiency virus infection: radiologic-pathologic correlation. Radiographics. 2008, 28(7):2033-58. Go to reference

Spaghetti and meatballs

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Butter stools

The digestion and absorption of fats is a complex process that involves the stomach, liver, pancreas, intestines and other organs. Due to disease of these aforementioned organs either singly or jointly, fat digestion and absorption becomes impaired resulting in excess fat in stool (human feces).
The feces become greasy, fatty and bulky (steatorrhea) – butter stools. It is not unusual for this type of stool to be foul-smelling and to float in water.
In general, stool consists of about 75% water and 25% solid matter.
Harper M. Congenital steatorrhoea due to defect of the pancreas. Med J Aust, 1949 1(5):137-41. Go to reference
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