Medical Dictionary

Charcot-Leyden crystals

noun plural Char·cot-Ley·den crystals \ ˌshär-ˌkō-ˈlī-dᵊn- \

medical Definition of Charcot-Leyden crystals

:minute, colorless crystals found in bodily tissues or discharges (as of sputum or feces) that are released from eosinophils during degranulation and are indicative of an inflammatory response especially to parasitic infections or allergic states (such as asthma)

Biographical Note for charcot-leyden crystals

  • Leyden, Ernst Viktor von (1832–1910), German physician. Leyden was a professor of medicine at the University of Berlin and a renowned neurologist. In 1869 he described the crystals found in the sputum of bronchial asthma patients. The crystals had already been described by Charcot in 1853, and consequently they are associated with the names of both men.

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