Case 230. Rheumatic fever (6 y-o M)
Autopsied heart in a Kenyan boy who died of acute cardiac failure
Key words : rheumatic fever, Aschoff nodule, Anitschkow cell
Aschoff's nodule seen in the edematous interstitium of the heart (HE). The spindle cells with basophilic cytoplasm are called Anitschkow cells having a catapillar-shaped nucleus.   The nuclei of Anitschkow cells in the Aschoff's nodule possess catapillar-shaped in the longitudinal section or owl-eyed in the cross section (HE, high power).
Features of rheumatic valvulitis showing accumulation of Anitschkow cells and lymphocytes in the hyaline stroma (HE). Antibody to tonsillitis-provoking group A Streptococcus is cross-reactive to the human heart-related antigen.   Reference case 230A
Anitschkow cells in non-rheumatic heart of 22 y-o female (HE). Anitschkow-type interstitial cells with catapillar nuclei are not specific to rheumatic heart disease. They are occasionally seen in the normal fetal and adult hearts.