Ultrastructural Features of Sidero - apoptotic Hepatocytes in Thalassemia

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Kleophant Thakerngpol
Vanneet Khawcharoenporn
Kaewkanjana Mangkalanond
Naree Choosrichom
Chaiyoot Buawatana
Vicha Sookpatdhee
Suthat Ducharoen
Tinrat Stitnimankarn


Liver tissues from 20 patients with thalassemia were investigated by light and electron microscopy, with focus on ultrastructure of sidero-apoptosis. The results of light microscopy were compared. Sidero-apoptosis was found in 82% in β thal/Hb E disease, 67% in thalassemia Hb H, 100% in and β-thal major, respectively. Regardless of the type of hemoglobin, sidero-apoptosis was present in various degrees. The main criteria used for identification of sidero-apoptosis were marked condensation of chromatin against the nuclear membrane, and fragmentation into nuclear fragments of varying sizes and structures into membrane-bounded sidero-apoptotic bodies. These bodies may be phagocytosed by macrophages or neighboring cells or remain free. However, the cell may also shrink into a dense, rounded mass, as a single sidero-apoptotic body. Sidero-apoptoic bodies were similar to acidophilic bodies, or Councilman bodies, commonly found in viral hepatitis. This preliminary report suggested that sidero-apoptosis is a features of human liver pathology in thalassemia and may be due to hepatotoxicity of iron overload. In addition, many factors or other agents-hormone, killer cells, cytokines, various physical, chemical and viral agents should be considered. We propose the term "sidero-apoptosis" to describe the features resembling acidophilic bodies commonly seen in viral hepatitis but with a heavy deposit of iron.


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Thakerngpol, K. ., Khawcharoenporn, V. ., Mangkalanond, K. ., Choosrichom, N. ., Buawatana, C. ., Sookpatdhee, V. ., Ducharoen, S. ., & Stitnimankarn, T. . (2020). Ultrastructural Features of Sidero - apoptotic Hepatocytes in Thalassemia. Siriraj Medical Journal, 53(8), 502–508. Retrieved from https://he02.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/sirirajmedj/article/view/244863
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