Ultrastructural evidence of the evolutional process in malakoplakia

Yeon Seung Jung, Dong Yong Chung, Eun Jin Kim, Nam Hoon Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Context. Malakoplakia can be caused by incomplete digestion of Escherichia coli by lysosomes, leading to recurrent urinary tract infections and consequential mass-forming events that mimic tumors. Objectives. By using ultrastructural findings, we aimed to specify the process of phagolysosome to evoke malakoplakia. Design. We observed a series of processes to form a peculiar Michaelis-Gutmann (MG) body in three patients with malakoplakia and compared with xanthogranulomatous pyelonephritis. Results. The ultrastructural findings were realigned according to the sequence of events as pre-phagosomal, phagosomal, and post-phagosomal stages. For the mature MG body, numerous lysosomal aggregates targeting pathogens and subsequent incomplete digestion are prerequisite factors for the pre-phagosomal stage. Scattered lamellated residue is late evidence of the pre-phagosomal stage. Phagosomes can be formed by the fusion of multiple pathogens and multiple lysosomes. We utilized transmission and scanning electron microscopy to speculate on the process of phagolysosomal formation. Conclusion. The recognition of E. coli captured by phagosomes or partially damaged by lysosomal attack within the cell was recorded for the first time. Furthermore, SEM observation was performed on human tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-184
Number of pages8
JournalHistology and Histopathology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Feb

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Histology and Histopathology. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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