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June 1972

Goblet Cells in the Human Trachea: Quantitative Studies of a Pathological Biopsy Material

Author Affiliations

From the Ear, Nose, and Throat Department, Glostrup Hospital, Copenhagen.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1972;95(6):547-555. doi:10.1001/archotol.1972.00770080837009

In 50 patients 103 biopsies were taken during bronchoscopy from various sites of the trachea where the goblet cell density was determined quantitatively under various disease conditions. Twenty counts were done on each biopsy specimen on fields measuring 0.01768 sq mm for a total of 2,060 counts. The mean goblet cell density in normal tracheae was found to be 122 cells, in acute tracheobronchitis 141 cells, in mild chronic tracheobronchitis 145 cells, and in typical chronic tracheobronchitis 180 cells per field. There was a slight increase in goblet cell density with increasing consumption of cigarettes and a definite increase in chronic exposure to dust. In acute pulmonary diseases, such as pneumonia, bronchopneumonia, and pleuropneumonia, and in cancer of the lung, there was no increase in the goblet-cell density.