Bronchiolar wall changes in sudden infant death syndrome: Morphometric study of a new observation

Abida K. Haque, Melodee G. Mancuso, James Hokanson, Nghia D. Nguyen, Myron M. Nichols

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) infants have significantly thicker and more cellular bronchiolar walls than control infants of similar age. A morphometric study of 25 SIDS and 18 control infants was undertaken to measure the bronchiolar wall thickness using a Cue-2 image analysis system. A mathematical formula (relative index) was used to compare the thickness of bronchioles of varying diameter. Data analysis using a nested design two-way analysis of variance and covariance of the measured bronchioles showed a significant difference between the SIDS and control infants with a P value less than .001. Manual counting of the cells in the bronchiolar walls and data analysis using an unpaired two-tailed t test showed that the SIDS infants had a significantly greater number of cells than control infants (P < .01). Our preliminary results indicate that the cells in the bronchiolar wall are either peripheral nerve-derived (Schwann cells) or Langerhans cells. We postulate that these cells are increased in number in response to chronic hypoxia in SIDS infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)551-568
Number of pages18
JournalFetal and Pediatric Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991


  • Bronchioles
  • Computerized image analysis
  • Hypoxia
  • Infants
  • Morphometry
  • Sudden infant death syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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