Medical Dictionary

Charcot–Leyden crystals

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

Medical Definition of Charcot–Leyden crystals

  1. :  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


\shȧr-kō\play ,


(1825–1893), French neurologist. One of the fathers of modern neurology, Charcot created the greatest neurological clinic of his time. An eminent clinician and pathologist as well as a neurologist, he practiced the method which correlates the moribund patient's symptoms with the lesions discovered during the autopsy. He was the first to describe the disintegration of ligaments and joint surfaces, the condition now known as Charcot joint, caused by tabes dorsalis. He did pioneering work on the determination of the brain centers responsible for specific nervous functions. He demonstrated the clear relationship between psychology and physiology, and his work on hysteria and hypnosis stimulated Sigmund Freud, one of his students, to pursue the psychological origins of neurosis.



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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feeling or affected by lethargy

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