Pathology of the Gastrointestinal Tract

2017 Edition
| Editors: Fátima Carneiro, Paula Chaves, Arzu Ensari

Pseudogoblet Cells

  • Namrata SetiaEmail author
  • Gregory Y. Lauwers
Reference work entry


Pseudogoblet cells are distended columnar epithelial cells that mimic goblet cells. They are commonly detected in columnar-lined esophagus. These cells are important to recognize, since they are indicators of intestinal metaplasia in the esophagus and a diagnostic criterion of the Barrett esophagus according to the American College of Gastroenterology. The recognition of goblet cells guides the surveillance protocol, although the clinical validity has been debated, and thus it is vital to appreciate the histology and histochemical staining properties of pseudogoblet cells in order to differentiate them from goblet cells.

Histology of Goblet Cells Versus Pseudogoblet Cells

Goblet cells are mucin-producing cells normally present in the intestine (small and large), respiratory tract, and conjunctiva. They result from the accumulation of tightly packed large mucin granules at the cellular apex and consequently have a distinctive flask or wine goblet shape. The basal portion of the...

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References and Further Reading

  1. Bronner, M. P. (2004). Inflammatory disorders of the GI tract: Inflammatory disorders of the esophagus. In R. D. Odze, J. R. Goldblum, & J. M. Crawford (Eds.), Surgical pathology of the GI tract, liver, biliary tract, and pancreas (1st ed., pp. 121–1423). Philadelphia: Saunders.Google Scholar
  2. Ovalle, W. K., & Nahirney, P. C. (2013). Lower digestive system. In W. K. Ovalle & P. C. Nahirney (Eds.), Netter’s essential histology (2nd ed., pp. 285–309). Philadelphia: Saunders.Google Scholar
  3. Weinstein, W. M., & Ippoliti, A. F. (1996). The diagnosis of Barrett’s esophagus: Goblets, goblets, goblets. Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, 44(1), 91–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Younes, M., Ertan, A., Ergun, G., Verm, R., Bridges, M., Woods, K., Meriano, F., Schmulen, A. C., Colman, R., Johnson, C., Barroso, A., Schwartz, J., McKechnie, J., Lechago, J., et al. (2007). Goblet cell mimickers in esophageal biopsies are not associated with an increased risk for dysplasia. Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, 131(4), 571–575.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of PathologyMassachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA