Vascular embolization is a well-established practice for the treatment of tumors and vascular lesions. Rounded beads (microspheres) of various materials (collagen, dextran and trisacryl-polymer-gelatin) were developed to solve problems encountered with earlier versions of embolic material. We performed histochemistry, Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray analysis on two uterine and one hepatic specimen with unidentified intravascular foreign material, and examined a reference embolization product for comparison. The hematoxylin and eosin stained tissue sections showed multiple foci with unidentified intravascular foreign material and fibrous obliteration of vessel lumens. Only one case had a clinical history of previous embolization but without specifying the material used. One case was submitted for identification of a 'parasite'. The material stained positively with Sirius red and mucicarmine, variably with Masson's trichrome stain and Movat pentachrome, and did not stain centrally with periodic acid Schiff with diastase. Infrared spectrophotometric analysis of the material from all three cases demonstrated the spectrum of acrylic polyamide plastic. A control sample of EmboGold™ exhibited infrared microspectroscopic spectra similar to the three tissue specimens. Analysis by scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray analysis demonstrated some differences in elemental composition between the tissue sections and the selected reference material. To our knowledge, this is the first report of infrared spectrophotometric analysis with scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray analysis of an acrylic polyamide plastic embolization product both in vitro and in human histologic tissue sections. In cases lacking appropriate clinical information, identification by these methods and/or a panel of special stains may assist pathologists unfamiliar with this material's light microscopic appearance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine