To evaluate the density of anti-galectin-3-immunostained cells, collagen percentage, mast cell density and presence of pathological processes in intestinal muscle biopsies of patients.
Thirty-five patients who underwent intestinal biopsy were selected from 1997 to 2015. Patients were divided into three groups: chagasic patients with mucosal lesion (n=13), chagasic patients with intact mucosa (n=12) and non-chagasic patients with no mucosal lesion (n=10). Histological processing of the biopsied fragments and immunohistochemistry for galectin-3 were performed. Additional sections were stained with hematoxylin and eosin to evaluate the general pathological processes, picrosirius for evaluation of collagen and toluidine blue to evaluate the mast cell density.
Patients of mucosal lesion group had a significantly higher frequency of ganglionitis and myositis when compared to the chagasic patients with intact mucosa and non-chagasic group. The density of anti-galectin-3-immunostained cells was significantly higher in the chagasic patients with intact mucosa group when compared to the non-chagasic group. The group of chagasic patients with intact mucosa presented a higher percentage of collagen in relation to the patients with mucosal lesion and to the non-chagasic group, with a significant difference. There was no significant difference in mast cell density among the three groups.
The higher density of anti-galectin-3-immunostained cells in patients in the chagasic patients with intact mucosa group suggested the need for greater attention in clinical evaluation of these patients, since this protein is associated with neoplastic transformation and progression.