Ferruginous body

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Ferruginous body in a BAL. (WC)

Ferruginous body is a histopathologic finding in lung pathology that strongly suggests exposure to asbestos.

General

  • Uncommon finding.
  • Strongly suggestive of asbestos exposure.

Conditions associated with asbestos exposure (mnemonic PALM):[1]

Microscopic

Features:

  • Segmented twirling baton-like structure (approximately 3-5 micrometres x 20-80 micrometres) with long slender fibre within.
  • Black/brown crystal-like appearance.

DDx:

  • Dirt - especially on H&E.

Images

Cytology

Stains

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Comment:
No cell block is available for further work-up, e.g. iron staining.

The findings herein should be correlated with imaging and the clinical history. 
Ferruginous bodies are associated asbestos exposure.

See also

References

  1. Mitchell, Richard; Kumar, Vinay; Fausto, Nelson; Abbas, Abul K.; Aster, Jon (2011). Pocket Companion to Robbins & Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease (8th ed.). Elsevier Saunders. pp. 375. ISBN 978-1416054542.