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The nature of multinucleated cells in the nasopharynx
  1. M. Y. Ali
  1. Department of Pathology, University of Singapore, Malaysia
  2. General Hospital, Singapore 3, Malaysia


    Exfoliated multinucleated epithelial cells were shown to be present in nasopharyngeal smears from patients with moniliasis, tuberculous lesions, and non-specific chronic inflammations of the nasopharynx. Multinucleated cells found in the nasopharynx were cytologically similar to the so-called measles giant cells. Because of the association of these cells with a number of chronic inflammatory lesions, their function is probably related to phagocytosis. In evidence thereof, a few multinucleated cells, presumably of epithelial origin, showed phagocytosed particles within their cytoplasm. This view is also based on corroborative evidence given by a number of workers that epithelial cells in the respiratory mucosa and in the endometrium were shown to assume phagocytic functions comparable to those of free histiocytes.

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