Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary The Toxic Syndrome (TS) caused by ingestion of adulterated rapeseed oil in Spain is a new disease of multisystemic character whose aetiology and pathogenesis remains unknown. The most prominent pathological feature is a peculiar non-necrotizing vasculitis, that affects mainly the intima and involves vessels of every type and size in practically every organ. The TS begins with an acute clinical picture with pleuropneumopathy, fever, headaches, exanthems and eosinophilia. In these early clinical phases the main pathological findings were observed in the lungs and consisted of intense pulmonary interstitial oedema with scanty inflammatory mononuclear infiltrates. Ultrastructural study revealed hydropic degeneration of pneumocytes types I and II with desquamation of type I. The patients in this phase died of respiratory failure, later deaths were due to thromboembolic complications. Later still the patients developped a neuromuscular syndrome, sclerodermiform skin lesions and severe weight loss and died predominantly of infectious complications and respiratory failure. The anatomopathological picture in the peripheral nerves was that of inflammatory neuropathy with a lymphocytic perineuritis that led to perineural fibrosis with secondary axonal degeneration. The muscle presented an interstitial inflammatory myopathy at first followed by a neurogenic muscular atrophy. The skin lesions in the late phases consisted in dermal or dermal and subdermal fibrosclerosis, with vasculitis of the small arteries in the lower dermis. The salivary glands and pancreas showed vasculitis and interstitial inflammation which progressed to interstitial fibrosis and parenchymal atrophy.
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