Asbestos body

Last revised by Joshua Yap on 28 Jul 2022

An asbestos body is a histological finding in interstitial lung disease that is suggestive of significant occupational asbestos exposure. They are usually identified following a parenchymal lung biopsy 3.

Macrophage ingestion of the asbestos fibers triggers a fibrogenic response via the release of growth factors that promote collagen deposition by fibroblasts. The fibers become encased in iron-rich material derived from proteins such as ferritin and hemosiderin 5. They typically appear as brown nodules in the septum of the alveolus and may have a rod or dumbbell shape with multiple segmentations.

Asbestos bodies are just one type of ferruginous bodies that can be formed by iron encasement of inhaled inorganic dusts

See also

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads

Cases and figures

  • Asbestos bodies (H&E stain)
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Asbestos bodies (histology)
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

     Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

     Thank you for updating your details.