Charcot-Leyden-crystals

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Colorless, hexagonal, double-pointed and often needle-like phosphat crystals found in the sputum of patients with bronchial asthma or in the feces of amoebic and ulcerative colitis.

Description

Colorless, hexagonal, double-pointed and often needle-like crystals seen in serous fluids such as the bronchial secretions in asthma and in stools in some cases of intestinal parasitism. They consist of of an enzyme, lysophospholipase, which is synthesized by eosinohilic granulocytes. Furthermore the CCL-protein has a lectin-like affinity to beta-galactoside groups, hence synonymously named galectin 10. The CCL-gene has been identified on locus 19q13.1.

According to some writes, the crystals were first noted by Friedrich Albert von Zenker (1825-1868) in 1851. They were described jointly by Jean-Martin Charcot and Charles-Philippe Robin in 1853 and in 1872 by the German internist Ernst Victor von Leyden.

We thank Professor Dr. Hans-Eckart Schaefer, Freiburg, Germany, for information submitted.

Bibliography

  • J. M. Charcot:
    De l’expectoration en médecine. Paris, 1857.
  • J. M. Charcot, C. P. Robin:
    Observation de leucocythémie.
    Comptes rendus de la Société de biologie, Paris, 1853, 44.
  • J. M. Charcot, Edmé Félix Alfred Vulpian (1826-1887):
    Note sur les cristaux particuliers trouvés dans le sang et les viscères d’un sujet leucémique.
    Gaz Méd, Paris, 1860, 7: 755.
  • Ernst Victor von Leyden:
    Zur Kenntnis des Asthma bronchiale. [Virchows] Archiv für pathologische Anatomie und Physiologie, und für klinische Medizin, Berlin, 1872, 54: 324-344, 346-352.

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