Airway Diseases


Mainly a bronchial disease, asthma is characterized by features in the following 3 images:

  • Mural inflammation (eosinophils, mast cells, lymphocytes)
  • Wall thickening by edema, hyperemia, fibrosis
  • Smooth muscle thickening (arrow)
  • Mucous plugs
  • Epithelial slough


  • Epithelial hyperplasia, goblet cell metaplasia (most of the epithelial cells here are goblet cells. Normally only 20% of cells should be goblet type)
  • Subepithelial collagenosis ("basement membrane thickening")(arrow)

Charcot-Leyden crystals

  • Mucous plugs with eosinophils and Charcot-Leyden crystals--bipyramidal hexagons fitted base to base (arrows).

Curschmann's spirals

  • Mucous plugs with Curschmann's spiral--fuzzy spiraled structures, derived from mucus (Papanicolaou stain).

See also Case 17