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What exactly IS a histiocyte?

Do you know what the term histiocyte actually means? 

It can be a confusing term if you haven’t seen it broken down before. 

Histiocyte is an umbrella term that encompasses macrophages and dendritic cells

And from these two lineages, we get a whole spectrum of histiocytic diseases like:

  •  Histiocytoma
  •  Langerhans cell histiocytosis
  •  Reactive histiocytosis
  •  Disseminated/local histiocytic sarcoma
  •  Hemophagocytic histiocytic sarcoma
  •  Progressive histiocytosis

These disease entities have different (and sometimes overlapping) clinical appearances and cytologic features. 

Next week, I’ll highlight a case of one of these conditions that was shared by one of the Cytology Coffeehouse members earlier this year!

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