Sunday, June 5, 2022

Answer to Case 685

 Answer to the Parasite Case of the Week 685: Raphides, i.e, needle-shaped crystals of calcium oxalate or calcium carbonate used by several plants such as pineapple, kiwi, and rhubarb as a defense against plant-eating animals. According to Idzi, "The weird feeling you get in your mouth when eating too much pineapple is apparently caused by these crystals. You can find them quite often in stools and they should not be confused with Charcot-Leyden (C-L) crystals!" They can be differentiated from C-L crystals by their long needle-like shape and uniform diameter:

As a comparator, Idzi provided 2 nice photographs of C-L crystals, the slender bipyramidal hexagonal crystals of galectin-10. "They were first noticed in 1851 by Friedrich Albert von Zenker, and later on described in detail in 1853 by Jean-Martin Charcot and Charles-Philippe Robin. After that, in 1872, they were further described by Ernst Viktor von Leyden. Hence their name…"

Charcot-Leyden crystals:

Galectin-10 is contained in the granules from eosinophils (and also from basophils) and spontaneously crystallizes into Charcot-Leyden crystals when it is released in the extracellular environment (by exocytosis and/or cellular breakdown). Charcot-Leyden crystals are therefore indicative of eosinophilic inflammation (caused by asthma, allergic reactions, parasitic infections, etc)."

Thanks again to Idzi for this excellent case!

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