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the examination of fluid from a bullous lesion for Tzanck cells (altered epithelial cells, rounded and devoid of intercellular attachments). The periphery of these cells is basophilic and the nucleus is spheric and enlarged with prominent nucleoli; they are characteristic of lesions due to varicella, herpes zoster, herpes simplex, and pemphigus vulgaris.
Etymology: Arnault Tzanck, Russian dermatologist in France, 1886-1954
a microscopic examination of cellular material from skin lesions to help diagnose certain vesicular diseases. The tissue is scraped from the base of a vesicle, placed on a slide, and stained with Wright's or Giemsa's stain. Multinucleated giant cells are diagnostic of herpesvirus or varicella. Typical pemphigus and other cells also can be identified.
[Arnault Tzanck, Russ. dermatologist in Paris, 1886–1954]
The examination of cells scraped from the lower surface of a vesicle to determine the underlying disease (e.g., infection with a herpesvirus).
Tzanck,Arnault, Russian dermatologist, 1886-1954.
Tzanck cells - acantholytic epithelial cells seen in the Tzanck test.
Tzanck test - the examination of fluid from a bullous lesion for Tzanck cells.