Curschmann's spirals refers to a microscopic finding in the sputum of asthmatics which are spiral shaped mucus plugs from subepithelial mucous gland ducts or bronchioles. These may occur in several different lung diseases.
The term can refer to parts of the desquamated epithelium seen in biopsies from asthmatic patients. These microscopic casts are named after German physician Heinrich Curschmann (1846-1910). They are often seen in association with creola bodies and Charcot-Leyden crystals. They are elongated microscopic mucous casts from small bronchi and are often found in sputum samples from patients with bronchial asthma. They can be stretched out to a length of around 2cm, and can sometimes be longer. They have a central core that may be ensheathed in cell debris and mucus.
- Cenci M, Giovagnoli MR, Alderisio M, Vecchione A (November 1998). "Curschmann's spirals in sputum of subjects exposed daily to urban environmental pollution". Diagn. Cytopathol. 19 (5): 349–51. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1097-0339(199811)19:5<349::AID-DC7>3.0.CO;2-7. PMID 9812228.
- "Curschmann's spiral in sputum from asthma patient". Retrieved 2008-11-25.
- Academic Dictionaries; Academic 2014