The immunofluorescence of immunoglobulins and complement components in kidney specimens taken at necropsy was investigated to determine the persistence of antigenicity of immune reactants. Of 74 consecutive necropsies, 12 cases had positive glomerular fluorescence. The pattern and intensity were followed up for up to 15 days. Along with necropsy specimens, tissue samples of normal looking kidney from 14 nephrectomies were also studied. Two of these specimens turned out to be positive in the immediate immunofluorescence study. To rule out possible false positive staining after death immunofluorescence findings in all nephrectomy specimens were followed up for up to 19 days. The presence of immunoglobulins and complement could be shown for between 12 and 15 days after death; no changes in immunofluorescence findings occurred during this period. It is concluded that immunofluorescence provides valuable information when immunologically mediated reactions need to be clarified in necropsy kidneys.
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