An immunohistochemical study of Warthin-Finkeldey cells in measles

Pathol Int. 1994 Jun;44(6):442-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1827.1994.tb01708.x.


An autopsy case of an 18 month old male infant with measles infection is reported. An autopsy revealed generalized lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly and hyperplastic thymus. Histologically, there were many Warthin-Finkeldey cells (WFC) in hyperplastic lymphoid tissues. Although viral particles and inclusions were not detected electronmicroscopically, the infection of measles virus was detected in WFC by immunofluorescent technique using anti-measles antibody. Warthin-Finkeldey cells were morphologically and immunohistochemically divided into two groups. The first type was WFC appearing in the germinal centers of lymphoid tissue, revealing many large nuclei and B cell markers. The second type was WFC appearing in the interfollicular areas and thymus, showing many small hyperchromatic nuclei and T cell markers. The data indicate that there might be a morphologic and immunophenotypic heterogeneity in WFC.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Autopsy
  • Giant Cells / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Measles / pathology*