Morphometry of the Human Lung by Ewald R. Weibel (Auth.)

By Ewald R. Weibel (Auth.)

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Because of t h e limitations inherent in these techniques, we have developed a method of lung fixation by means of concentrated formalin steam applied to t h e lung via t h e airways. A detailed technical report of this method has appeared elsewhere ( W E I B E L a n d V I D O N E , 1961). The lungs used in this study were fixed b y this procedure in a controlled degree of gaseous inflation. A t autopsy both half-lungs were removed from t h e chest, carefully avoiding any damage t o their surface.

In practice, the dimensions of cells and other 24 Principles and Methods of Morphometry components are comparable to the thickness of paraffin sections used in light micro­ scopy, while larger tissue structures such as alveoli can be considered very large. In electron microscopy, with section thicknesses of 600 Â, structures like pinocytotic vesicles are "fine granular" with respect to the section thickness, but nuclei and mitochondria are relatively very large. The correction of the errors thus introduced during volumetric analysis will depend mainly on the shape of the structures investigated.

The correct tissue fraction τ*, however, should have been obtained from the cut surfaces S'. We therefore find the correct value τ* from T* = T · /(#, ω) . 35) If the relative volume τ of the tissue shell of the alveoli was overestimated, the relative volume ρ^ of the alveoli must have been underestimated. The correct value ρ5 follows from eS=&i+(l-7)T. 36) This correction will, of course, be small. 2. Principle for Counting Tissue Structures on Random Sections The number of certain structures such as alveoli or renal glomeruli contained in a tissue volume is usually estimated by comparing the average dimensions of the single structures with the over-all volume they occupy (WILLSON, 1922 ; ELZE and HENNIG, 1956; ELIAS and HENNIG, 1961 ; and others).

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