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Ultrastructural modifications of muscle in three types of compartment syndrome


The histological and ultrastructural aspects of three cases representing different types of compartment syndromes are analyzed. In the acute syndrome edema is the prominent feature. The two chronic cases are characterized by an accumulation of intermyofibrillar lipid globules. All three have in common mitochondrial enlargement, disorganization of the cristae and paracrystalline inclusions. These pathological findings are discussed in the light of lesions seen in striated muscle ischaemia or in certain metabolic myopathies.


Analyse des images histologiques et ultrastructurelles de trois cas présentant différentes formes de syndrome des loges de la jambe. Dans le cas aigu, l'oedème est au premier plan. Les deux cas d'évolution chronique se caractérisent par une accumulation de gouttelettes lipidiques intermyofibrillaires. Les trois cas ont en commun d'importantes modifications mitochondriales comportant une augmentation de la taille des organelles, une désorganisation des cristae et des inclusions paracristallines. Ces images histologiques sont discutées dans le cadre des lésions rencontrées lors d'ischémie musculaire ou lors de certaines myopathies métaboliques.

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Correspondence to P. Hoffmeyer.

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Hoffmeyer, P., Cox, J.N. & Fritschy, D. Ultrastructural modifications of muscle in three types of compartment syndrome. International Orthopaedics 11, 53–59 (1987).

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Key words

  • Compartment syndrome
  • Muscle
  • Ultrastructural modifications