Postmortem: Histochemical Techniques

  • John T. Fallon
Part of the Developments in Cardiovascular Medicine book series (DICM, volume 14)


Gross anatomic observation can be used to accurately diagnose, locate, and size myocardial infarcts at autopsy when the infarct is sufficiently developed (see Ideker, p. 347), i.e., at least 18–24h old, and its borders are clearly defined. Similarly, histologic approaches to infarct identification and quantification are reliable only after 12–18h of in vivo development, and are time consuming, expensive, and tedious. This chapter is concerned with macroscopic techniques for quantifying myocardial infarcts in experimental and human hearts; it is specifically concerned with the use of tetrazolium dyes. These techniques have the major advantage of identifying myocardial necrosis due to ischemic injury routinely by 3–6h and experimentally as early as 1 h after the onset of myocardial infarction.


Human Heart Myocardial Infarct Size Triphenyl Tetrazolium Chloride Triphenyl Tetrazolium Chloride Experimental Myocardial Infarction 
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© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, The Hague / Boston / London 1982

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  • John T. Fallon

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