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Reed-Sternberg cells

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Giant connective tissue cells with one or two large nuclei (mirror image nuclei) which are characteristic of the lesions of Hodgkin’s disease.

These giant cells were probably first discovered and described by William Smith Greenfield, (1846-1915) of England. Carl von Sternberg described the cells in 1898, however he never clearly separated Hodgkin's disease from active tuberculosis, since a number of his patients had both disorders.


  • W. Greenfield:
    Specimens illustrative of the pathology of lymphadenoma and leukocythemia.
    Transactions of the Pathological Society of London, 1878, 29: 272-304.
  • C. Sternberg:
    Über eine eigenartige, unter dem Bilde der Pseudoleukämie verlaufende Tuberkulose des lymphatischen Apparates.
    Zeitschrift für Heilkunde, Prague, 1898, 19: 21-90. Lymphogranulomatose und Retikuloendothel.
    Ergebnisse der allgemeinen Pathologie und pathologischen Anatomie der Menschen und der Tiere, Berlin, 1936, 87: 1-76.
  • D. Reed:
    On the pathological changes in Hodgkin's disease, with especial reference to its relation to tuberculosis.
    Johns Hopkins Hospital Reports, Baltimore, 1902, 10: 133-196.

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