Pimpin Incharoen, MD, Katawut Sanitthangkul, MD, Sompong Wongwichai, BSc, Vorachai Sirikulchayanonta, MD
Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol UniversityCorrespondence : Pimpin Incharoen Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University
Email address: pimpin.inc@mahidol.ac.th
Received : 3 January 2014; Accepted : 20 February 2014


     The finding of asbestos bodies in lung fluid aspirates represents definite evidence of having prior exposure to asbestos, and having asbestos fibers entering the bronchial tree. After entering the lung, fibers undergo a coating process with ferritin protein to form asbestos bodies. The present study was carried out with the aim of determining whether asbestos bodies could be detected in the lung fluids of cadavers undergoing autopsy at the Pathology Department of the Ramathibodi Hospital during the period of November 2012 – October 2013. Twenty six corpses were randomly included in the study, without specific selection for occupations more likely to result in asbestos exposure. Their sex, age, occupation, diagnosis and home addresses were recorded. The lung fluid specimens were obtained by injecting 150-200 milliliters of normal saline into the lung via a naso-gastric catheter inserted into the bronchial tree, and withdrawing fluid from the lung. Subsequent microscopic examination for asbestos bodies in the fluid specimens was made by the method employed by De Vuyst et al.
The study revealed negative finding in all specimens, with no asbestos bodies identified in aspirates from any of the 26 cases. Such results may be interpreted as indicating that either all subjects studied were exposed to low level of asbestos, which is not detectable using this technique, or had exposure with successful expulsion of the inhalant. However, the presence of asbestos bodies in the lung tissue cannot be completely excluded.