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Die pathologische Anatomie der Hungerkrankheit und des Hungerodems


, : Die pathologische Anatomie der Hungerkrankheit und des Hungerodems. Helvetica Med Acta 14(4/5): 584-601

The pathology of chronic starvation and of hunger edema was observed in 53 autopsies performed from 1939-1945 on former inmates of German prisons and conc. camps who died shortly after their escape to Switzerland. The wt. loss of heart and liver was about 30%, of pancreas, kidney, and brain about 10%. The livers showed fatty degeneration, while the adrenals showed only minor changes. The wt. loss of the thyroid was small. The sex organs were often atrophied. The post. lobe of the hypophysis was not changed, but the ant. lobe was distinctly altered in cell composition. However, the type of cell that was increased, was not uniform. In hunger edema, most of the water retention occurred in the subcutaneous fat and in the deeper fat depots. Anatomically, the structure of the fat tissue was unaltered in inanition, since the fat was replaced by retained fluid. Of special clinical interest is the edema found more or less regularly in the walls of the intestinal tract.

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