balloon cell

bal·loon cell

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.
Cytology A general term for markedly enlarged cells seen on cervical smears which may be mono-, bi- or multinucleated; the nuclei may be dyskeratotic
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)
References in periodicals archive ?
Most variants of cutaneous nevi including combined nevus, balloon cell nevus, Spitz nevus, pigmented spindle cell nevus, and blue nevus have been reported in the conjunctiva.
Conjunctival melanoma can be composed of 1 (or different proportions) of 4 different cell types: small polyhedral cells, epithelioid cells, balloon cells, and spindle cells.
Balloon cells develop in any damaged mucosa, but in the absence of other more characteristic features of GERD, they may be the only clue that a chemical injury has occurred.

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