A 50-year-old man undergoes liver biopsy for evaluation of the grade and stage of his hepatitis C virus infection. The biopsy reveals swollen (ballooned) hepatocytes and moderate lobular inflammatory activity (shown in the image). The arrow identifies an acidophilic (Councilman) body. Which of the following cellular processes best accounts for the presence of scattered acidophilic bodies in this liver biopsy?
Aggregation of intermediate filament proteins
Apoptotic cell death
Intracellular viral inclusions
Answer: B Coagulative necrosis
Apoptosis is a programmed pathway of cell death that is triggered by a variety of extracellular and intracellular signals.
It is often a self-defense mechanism, destroying cells that have been infected with pathogens or those in which genomic alterations have occurred.
After staining with hematoxylin and eosin, apoptotic cells are visible under the light microscope as acidophilic (Councilman) bodies.
These deeply eosinophilic structures represent membrane-bound cellular remnants that are extruded into the hepatic sinusoids. The other choices do not appear as acidophilic bodies.