In pathology, a Councilman body, also known as Councilman hyaline body or apoptotic body, is an acidophilic (eosinophilic / pink-staining on H&E) globule of cells that represents a dying hepatocyte often surrounded by normal parenchyma. They are found in the liver of individuals suffering from viral hepatitis (acute), yellow fever, or other viral syndromes. It represents a hepatocyte that is undergoing necrosis/apoptosis. Liver biopsy of acute viral hepatitis typically shows panlobular lymphocytic infiltrates with ballooning hepatocytes (indicative of hepatocyte necrosis and hepatocyte apoptosis).
Until recently the presence of Councilman bodies in a liver biopsy was thought to be sufficient evidence for a diagnosis of yellow fever. However, they have since been found also to be present in other viral hemorrhagic fevers along with acute viral hepatitis, and thus may no longer be considered as diagnostic for yellow fever.