5. Encephalomalacia alba

Page created on September 19, 2018. Last updated on January 17, 2019 at 16:49

Staining: HE

Organ: Brain


You can clearly see an area that is different from the rest. This area has no nuclei, is pale and has loose parenchyme. There are hypereosinophilic neurons with karyopyknosis (shrinkage of the nuclei).

Diagnosis: Encephalomalacia alba


There are three types of encephalomalacia. Alba (white), flava (yellow) and rubra (red). Alba is “fresher”, more recent than the flava type, and will become the flava type over time. The name of the rubra comes from the bleeding that accompanies it. The first two are examples of anemic “infarction” while the rubra is a type of haemorrhagic “infarction”.

The hypereosinophilic neurons are called red neurons. Neurons are very sensitive to hypoxia, so they are the first to be damaged during hypoxia.

The alba and flava are caused by a blockage of cerebral artery by:

  • Thrombosis
  • Embolization
  • Vasculitis

The rubra type is caused by venous obstruction by:

  • Sinus thrombosis
  • Cerebral tumor
  • Cerebral abscess
  • Local inflammation
  • Haemorrhage in the brain

Protected Area

These images are password-protected due to copyright concerns. Please verify with a password to unlock the content. If you are a medical student in Pécs or feel like you should have access to the content for any other reason, send me an e-mail.

Leave a Reply

Inputting your name is optional. All comments are anonymous.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.