Giant cells are "big" cells with multiple nuclei. They come in different flavours, which are suggestive of causality.
This article deals with the classic types of giant cells. A more general differential diagnosis of giant cells is in giant cell lesions.
Giant cell types
- Touton giant cell.
- Osteoclast-like giant cell.
- Foreign body type giant cell.
|Touton giant cell||Nuclei form a ring around the cell periphery with eosinophilic cytoplasm centrally and foamy cytoplasm at the periphery.||Juvenile xanthogranuloma, xanthoma, Erdheim-Chester disease, fat necrosis, dermatofibroma||High lipid content lesions, Named after Karl Touton|
|Epithelioid type||scattered nuclei||drug reaction, neoplasm, foreign body, infection, idiopathic, autoimmune, allergic||granulomatous inflammation|
|Langhans giant cell||peripheral semi-circular eccentric nuclei||tuberculosis, sarcoidosis.||not to be confused with Langerhans cells, Named after Theodor Langhans|
|Osteoclast-like giant cells||multiple bland central nuclei, ruffled cell membrane.||osteoclasts, others||AKA osteoclast-type giant cells|