Copper accumulation in actinomyces druses during endometritis after long-term use of an intrauterine contraceptive device

Ultrastructural Pathology
Ludwig JonasH Nizze


A 32-year-old woman carried a copper intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD) or intrauterine pessar (IAP) for more than 5 years. She had acyclic menstrual bleedings and underwent a corpus abrasio after explantation of IUCD. The histological study of paraffin sections showed an actinomycotic endometritis with brown to black deposits in or around typical actinomyces druses, but there was no carcinoma. The electron microscopic study of these accumulations by electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) in TEM demonstrated copper deposits in the shell and matrix of these druses as well as inside the bacteria. With scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analysis (EDX), the electron-dense accumulations revealed high signals for copper and sulfur, but also of phosphorus and oxygen in a lower extent. This copper accumulation is discussed as an active uptake and concentration by these actinomyces bacteria.


Sep 12, 2012·Biofouling·Santhanam ShanmughapriyaKalimuthusamy Natarajaseenivasan
Apr 4, 2008·Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : CJASN·Josef A SchroederBernhard K Krämer
Feb 18, 2010·Contraception·Mónica CarrilloMargarita Stoytcheva
Mar 22, 2020·Journal of Clinical Medicine·Julie CarraraCharlotte Vaysse

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Actinomycosis is a rare, chronic, and slowly progressive granulomatous disease caused by filamentous Gram positive anaerobic bacteria from the Actinomycetaceae family (genus Actinomyces). The disease is characterised by the formation of painful abscesses in the mouth, lungs,breast or gastrointestinal tract. Discover the latest research on actinomycosis here.