Curschmann's spirals

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Curschmann's spiral

Curschmann's spirals refers to a 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.[1]

The term can refer to parts of the desquamated epithelium seen in biopsies from asthmatic patients.[2] They are named after German physician Heinrich Curschmann (1846-1910). They are often seen in association with creola bodies and Charcot-Leyden crystals. They are an elongated cast from small bronchi, which 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 is ensheathed in cell debris and mucus. {3}


  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ "Curschmann's spiral in sputum from asthma patient". Retrieved 2008-11-25. 

[3] Academic Dictionaries; Academic 2014