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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 171-174

Infiltration and Fat Droplet Phagocytosis by Macrophages in the Alveoli may be the Most Likely Characteristics of Fat Embolism

1 Department of Forensic Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, PR China
2 Guangdong Public Security Department, Key Laboratory of Forensic Medicine, Guangzhou 510050, Guangdong Province, PR China

Correspondence Address:
Dong-Ri Li
Department of Forensic Medicine, Southern Medical University, No. 1838, Guangzhou 510515, Guangdong Province
PR China
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2349-5014.191472

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We report a case of nontraumatic fat embolism syndrome with large amounts of macrophages with phagocytized fat droplets in the alveoli. A 46-year-old male presented with a glass-cut injury in his little finger. The wound was debrided and sutured at the hospital, but he was found dead 43 h after treatment. Autopsy results showed that the patient had steatohepatitis, accompanied by histological findings of fat droplets in the pulmonary capillaries. In the alveoli, we found a large number of macrophages with phagocytized fat droplets that showed stained. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of such a case, and the paper proposes that fat droplets phagocytized by a large number of macrophages may be a characteristic feature of fat embolism, which may be relevant to forensic pathology practice.

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