Asbestos body

Dr Jeremy Jones and A.Prof Frank Gaillard et al.

An asbestos body is a histological finding in interstitial lung disease that is suggestive of significant occupational asbestos exposure. They are usually identified following a parenchymal lung biopsy 3.

Macrophage ingestion of the asbestos fibers triggers a fibrogenic response via the release of growth factors that promote collagen deposition by fibroblasts. The fibers become encased in iron-rich material derived from proteins such as ferritin and hemosiderin 5. They typically appear as brown nodules in the septum of the alveolus and may have a rod or dumbbell shape with multiple segmentations.

Asbestos bodies are just one type of ferruginous bodies that can be formed by iron encasement of inhaled inorganic dusts

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Article information

rID: 8738
System: Chest
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Asbestos bodies

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Cases and figures

  • Asbestos bodies (H&E stain)
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  • Asbestos bodies (histology)
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