Intramitochondrial inclusions in the myocardial cells of human hearts with coronary disease

Academic Article


  • Moderately electron-dense intramitochondrial inclusions occurred in the myocytes present in biopsies from akinetic or dyskinetic left ventricle from 8 of 10 patients with old myocardial infarction, and in biopsies from 1 of 2 patients having apparently normal left ventricles but presenting with unstable angina. These inclusions were classified according to their presence in necrotic or viable cells into two categoris: (1) The necrotic cell type inclusion occurred in aneurysmal ventricular wall. The inclusion material occupied enlarged matrix spaces, masked cristal membrane profiles and often invaded intracristal spaces of disrupted mitochondria. Cytochrome oxidase activity was shown to be absent in these mitochondria. (2) The viable cell type inclusion occurred in the presence of various focal ultrastructural changes, but myofibrils, glycogen, nuclei and sarcolemma did not show any of the changes described by others for the early irreversible phase of cell injury in animal models of myocardial ischemia. This type of inclusion, 100 to 600 mμ in diameter, developed in the matrix of about 15% of total mitochondrial profiles. Cytochrome oxidase was demonstrated to be active in most of these mitochondria, including those which contained the inclusions. In right ventricular biopsy controls from five of eight patients with old myocardial infarction and from one of two patients with unstable angina, viable cell type inclusions were only rarely seen (less than 1%). The two types of inclusions we found in human hearts are compared with the three distinct types of intramitochondrial densities described by others in animal models of acute myocardial ischemia. © 1978.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kawamura K; Cowley MJ; Karp RB; Mantle JA; Logic JR; Rogers WJ; Russell RO; Rackley CE; James TN
  • Volume

  • 10
  • Issue

  • 9