1. an unusually large degenerated cell with pale-staining vacuolated or reticulated cytoplasm, as in viral hepatitis or in degenerated epidermal cells in herpes zoster;
2. a large form of nevus cell with abundant nonstaining cytoplasm, formed by vacular degeneration of melanosomes. Compare: balloon cell nevus.
Pathology A nonspecific term for a cell with abundant clear cytoplasm, which may be benign or malignant and may be of any embryologic origin and may contain any histologically clear material
Examples Carcinoid cells, ependymal cells (myxopapillary ependymoma, hepatocytes), ballooning degeneration, histiocytes storing glycosaminoglycans and mucopoly-saccharides, neurons (Farber’s disease, lipogranulomatosis, mannosidosis) and pigmented cells either benign (balloon cell nevus) or malignant (balloon cell melanoma)