The aim of this study was to investigate whether a fatty liver contributes to pulmonary embolism under a high ambient temperature. As an experimental model, we exposed fatty liver rats to a high temperature (45°C) and then looked for fat emboli in the alveolar capillaries using the fat-staining method. Fat emboli were detected in the alveolar capillaries of the fatty liver rats, but not in those of the normal liver rats. Moreover, the degree of pulmonary fat embolism tended to become more severe in proportion to the severity of the fatty liver. In addition, fat emboli did not appear at a core body temperature of 40°C, but were detected at a core body temperature of 44°C. From these results, we conclude that a fatty liver may contribute to the formation of pulmonary fat embolism and that high temperatures act as a trigger for the onset of pulmonary embolism. Moreover, it is possible that fatty liver affects the development of heat stroke induced by exposure to a high ambient temperature and that pulmonary fat embolism is a significant finding which helps to enable a diagnosis of heat stroke in autopsy cases.
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