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foamy macrophages

Friday 24 October 2003

spumous macrophages, foamy macrophages, foam cells; lipid-laden histiocytes, foamy histiocytes; lipid-laden macrophages; foamy histiocyte; foamy histiocytes; xanthomatous histiocytes

Definition: Histiocytes that are laden with lipid (predominantly cholesterol ), and that have differentiated from circulating monocytes.


- foamy macrophages in lung; amiodarone exposure

- In tumors

- In BAL

- In blood

- foamy histiocytes in MAI lymphadenitis

- portal foamy histiocytes in lysosomal acid lipase deficiency

- xanthomatous histiocytes in verruciform xanthoma

Digital cases (Digital slides)

- HPC:380 : Foamy macrophages in pulmonary alveoles.
- JRC:336 : Niemann-Pick’s disease (Spleen).

Etiology (Exemples)

- xanthomatous tumors

- histiocytoses

- inherited metabolic diseases


- medullary foamy histiocytes
- splenic foamy histiocytes
- dermal foamy histiocytes
- renal foamy histiocytes

  • glomerular intracapillary foamy histiocytes
  • renal tubulary foamy histiocytes

- medullary foamy histiocytes

- lungs: lipid-laden macrophages in pulmonary alveoles