Chronic bronchitis: a retrospective clinicopathologic study of 25 cases

Vol. 53 No. 3 Suppl., 2012
This supplement was not sponsored by Outside Organizations.


Andreea-Elena Marinas, Paulina Ciurea, D. Pirici, Raluca Ciurea

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the industrialized and in the developing countries. Chronic bronchitis (CB) is one the three COPD clinico-pathological entities that in 2009 were estimated to be diagnosed in 9.9 million Americans. It is characterized by inflammation of the "bronchial tree" that results in tissue swelling and excessive secretions of mucus into the bronchi, with progressive airflow limitation. Our study aims to reveal the main morphological aspects of CB in our casuistry and to evaluate their correlation with major clinico-epidemiological parameters. Thus, we performed a retrospective clinical and morphological study on a group of 17 smoker patients with symptoms of chronic bronchitis, eight non-smokers diagnosed with chronic bronchitis and five non-smokers and asymptomatic subjects. We observed that CB developed especially in men of 65-year-old or older, especially in smokers with a median FEV1% at around 71. Histopathologically, patients with symptoms of CB, regardless of smoking status, presented on bronchial biopsies with focal squamous metaplastic change, goblet cell hyperplasia and enlargement of the bronchial gland mass because of the inflammatory process, consisting predominantly of mononuclear cells in the bronchial wall. The statistical testing proved a significant correlation between the densities of different inflammatory cell classes (with the exception of mast cells in the bronchial epithelium) and FEV1% values on epithelium and submucosa regions in all investigated groups.

Corresponding author: Daniel Pirici, University Assistant, MD, PhD; e-mail:

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Carmen Elena Cotrutz, H. Abuelba, Doinita Olinici, T. Petreus

The relationship between E-cadherin presence/absence and the integrity of the desmosomes at the same level becomes important regarding the discrepancies between E-cadherin lack of expression in severe invasive carcinomas and the desmosome activity. Purpose: In the present study, we have evaluated the presence of E-cadherin (EC) in 34 cases of metastatic or non-metastatic invasive ductal breast carcinomas (IDC) by immunohistochemistry followed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) evaluation on samples prepared from paraffin sections. Materials and Methods: Our study has analyzed 34 paraffin blocks incoming from 20 cases with documented presence of metastatic invasion and 14 cases without metastases. All samples were processed and stained by classic Hematoxylin-Eosin, immunohistochemistry to detect EC presence and transmission electron microscopy. Results: Our results, even on a small pilot group, emphasize that EC presence is associated with the complete desmosomal integrity in non-metastatic cases, at least for the investigated areas. From the metastatic IDC cases, we have observed reduced EC expression in only three cases and important loss of desmosomal arrangement, mainly at the desmosomal plate level. Conclusions: This observation can issue the hypothesis that even in IDC cells that express EC, the invasive potential depend not only on EC-dependent junctions but also on the desmosome integrity. Also, correlated relationship between EC expression, potentially explored desmogleins, desmocollin, desmoplakin and plakoglobin expression and TEM ultrastructure can lead to a conclusion about the invasive potential of these malignant cells.

Corresponding author: Hussam Abuelba, MD, PhD student; e-mail:

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