The spatial pattern of the vacuolation ('spongiform change') was studied in areas of the cerebral cortex in 11 cases of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). The vacuoles were evenly distributed along the cortex in 40/106 (38%) areas studied and randomly distributed in 6/106 (5.6%) areas. In 22/106 (21%) areas, the vacuoles were aggregated into clusters, 50 - 1600 μm in diameter and which were distributed in a regular pattern parallel to the pia mater. In 38/106 (36%) areas, large clusters of vacuoles, at least 1600 μm in diameter, were present. No significant differences in spatial patterns were observed between the different cortical regions or between the upper and lower laminae. In addition, age at onset and duration of the disease had no significant affect on spatial patterns. The spatial distribution of the vacuolation contrasts with that reported in sporadic CJD (sCJD) suggesting a different pattern of cortical degeneration in vCJD.
- cerebral cortex
- sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD)
- variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD)