Pigmented macrophages of the lung

From patholines.org
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Author: Mikael Häggström [note 1]
When seeing pigmented macrophages of the lung, categorize as follows:

Disease Macrophage name Macrophage pigment appearance (HE stain) Usual macrophage location Associated medical history Image Other notes.
Anthracosis Black-brown granules Interstitium (perivascular)
  • Age and urban dwelling.[1]
  • Coal workers[2]
Histopathology of anthracotic macrophage in lung, annotated.jpg In image, black arrow shows interstitial anthracotic pigment. Nearby macrophages (white arrow) can be presumed to contain anthracotic pigment. Reporting is optional in mild cases in the elderly.
Respiratory bronchiolitis Smoker's macrophages Yellow to light brown and finely granular[3] Airways (especially respiratory bronchioles) Tobacco smoking Histopathology of a smoker's macrophage.jpg Smoker's macrophage in center of image. Smoker's macrophages in alveoli is unspecific and does not confer a diagnosis of respiratory bronchiolitis.
Chronic pulmonary congestion Siderophages Brown-golden and refractile.[4] Alveoli[5]
  • Heart failure
  • Pulmonary hemorrhage
Histopathology of siderophage in chronic pulmonary congestion.jpg Image shows a siderophage (black arrow), and interstitium with edema, hemosiderin deposition (black arrow) and collagenous thickening, indicating heart failure.
Histopathology of smoker's macrophages with anthracotic stippling, indicating the presence of both respiratory bronchiolitis and anthracosis.


  1. For a full list of contributors, see article history. Creators of images are attributed at the image description pages, seen by clicking on the images. See Patholines:Authorship for details.

Main page


  1. Cotran; Kumar, Collins (1999). Robbins Pathologic Basis of Disease . Philadelphia: W.B Saunders Company. ISBN 978-0-7216-7335-6. 
  2. Morgan WK (November 1978). "Industrial bronchitis ". Br J Ind Med 35 (4): 285–91. PMID 367424. 
  3. William Perry, M.D., M.P.H., Kristine Konopka, M.D.. Lung - Other interstitial pneumonitis / fibrosis - Respiratory bronchiolitis. Topic Completed: 1 July 2020. Minor changes: 1 July 2020.
  4. Zander, Dani (2018). Pulmonary pathology . Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier. ISBN 978-0-323-39308-9. OCLC 968711140.  - VII Acute Lung Injury with Siderophages
  5. Guido Majno; Isabelle Joris (12 August 2004). Cells, Tissues, and Disease : Principles of General Pathology . Oxford University Press. p. 620. ISBN 978-0-19-974892-1. Retrieved on 19 March 2013. 

Image sources