Plaque-like structures and arteriosclerotic changes in "diffuse neurofibrillary tangles with calcification" (DNTC)

S. Terada, H. Ishizu, Y. Tanabe, Y. Takehisa, T. Haraguchi, K. Hamaya, S. Nose, K. Sudo, S. Kuroda

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21 Citations (Scopus)


"Diffuse neurofibrillary tangles with calcification" (DNTC) is a rare form of slowly progressive dementia characterized by temporal or fronto-temporal atrophy with neuronal loss and astrocytosis, neurofibrillary tangles and Fahr-type calcification, but no senile plaques in the cerebral cortex. In patients with DNTC, we detected a novel histopathological abnormality that we termed "plaque-like structures" (PLS). PLS appeared as oval, slightly eosinophilic masses of up to 100 μm in diameter. With methenamine silver stain, the PLS were argyrophilic, and thread-like structures were observed in and around them. Most PLS were observed in deep layers of the cortex and subcortical white matter, and were accompanied by small vessels. They were intimately associated with the small-vessel walls and astrocytes. They were composed of two types of fibers. The first type comprised straight and loosely interwoven fibers about 25-30 nm in diameter, while the other type evoked tangles. These structures have not been found in other neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease. In addition, to evaluate hyaline arteriosclerosis in DNTC, we examined sclerotic changes of the medullary arteries and assessed white matter lesions in affected patients. In three of four patients with DNTC, sclerosis of the medullary arteries was significantly more extensive than in age-matched controls. In all four patients, the severity of white matter lesions was graded as moderate or severe in the temporal lobe and as mild or moderate in the frontal lobe. Arteriosclerotic changes and white matter lesions can occur without hypertension and β amyloid deposits in DNTC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-603
Number of pages7
JournalActa neuropathologica
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Diffuse neurofibrillary tangles with calcification
  • Plaque-like structure
  • White matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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