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bean-bag cells

[bean-bag cell]

This term is used by histologists to describe macrophages filled with nuclear debris in the cytoplasm, produced by phagocytosis of apoptotic bodies. Essentially, such cells are clusters of benign histiocytes, arrayed such as to give the picture of a bag of beans. See also: cytophagocytosis.

Such cells are seen, for example, in a group of diseases characterized by inflammation of subcutaneous adipose tissue (panniculitis; Weber-Christian disease) and subcutaneous panniculitis-like T-cell lymphoma, a distinctive skin lymphoma characterized by neoplastic cytotoxic T-cell infiltration of the subcutaneous tissue, mimicking panniculitis.

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