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splenic cord

Saturday 18 May 2013, by admin

splenic cords; Billroth cords

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Definition: The Cords of Billroth (also known as splenic cords or red pulp cords) are found in the splenic red pulp between the sinusoids (splenic sinuses), consisting of fibrils and connective tissue cells with a large population of monocytes and macrophages.

These cords contain half of the human body’s monocytes as a reserve so that after tissue injury these monocytes can move in and aid locally sourced monocytes in wound healing.

Erythrocytes pass through the cords of Billroth before entering the sinusoids. The passage into the sinusoids may be seen as a bottleneck, where erythrocytes need to be flexible in order to pass through.

In disorders of erythrocyte shape and/or flexibility, such as hereditary spherocytosis, erythrocytes fail to pass through and get phagocytosed, causing extravascular hemolysis.

Structure

- The splenic cords are composed of reticular fibers, reticular cells, and associated macrophages (Saito et al., 1988).
- The reticular cells are considered to be myofibroblasts and may play a role in splenic contraction (Saito et al., 1988).
- The reticular fibers are composed of collagenous and elastic fibers, microfibrils, reticular cell basal laminae, and unmyelinated adrenergic nerve fibers (Saito et al., 1988). With electron microscopy, it is apparent that the reticular fibers are actually ensheathed by the reticular cells and their processes (Saito et al., 1988).
- The cellular splenic cords provide a tissue framework maintaining the network of sinuses.
- The splenic cords contain passing red blood cells, lymphocytes, monocytes, granulocytes, in addition to resident reticular fibroblasts, plasma cells, and macrophages.

Pathology - Anomalies of splenic cords

- In disorders of erythrocyte shape and/or flexibility, such as hereditary spherocytosis, erythrocytes fail to pass through and get phagocytosed, causing extravascular hemolysis.

- cellular infiltration of splenic cords