Langhans giant cell

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Overview

Langhans giant cells are large cells found in granulomatous conditions. They are formed by the fusion of epithelioid cells (macrophages), and contain nuclei arranged in a horseshoe-shaped pattern in the cell periphery. Their presence could indicate tuberculosis.

They should not be confused with Langerhans cell. According to MeSH, Langhans giant cells are macrophages, but Langerhans cells are not. "Langerhans" may also refer to the Islets of Langerhans that are found in the pancreas.

Langhans giant cells are named for Theodor Langhans (1839-1915), a German pathologist [1]

References

  1. J Pritchard, P Foley, H Wong. Langerhans and Langhans: what's misleading in a name? The Lancet (2003): 362 (9387), 922.

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