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March 1986

Quantitative Study of Goblet Cells in the Upper Lobe of the Normal Human Lung

Author Affiliations

From the ENT Department, Gentofte University Hospital (Drs Cerkez and Tos) Hellerup, Denmark, and the Otopathological Laboratory, ENT Department, Rigshospitalet (Drs Cerkez and Mygind), Copenhagen.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1986;112(3):316-320. doi:10.1001/archotol.1986.03780030080016

• Goblet-cell density and distribution were studied in ten specimens of the human adult lung. The bronchial tree of the left upper lobe was dissected, and the bronchial mucosa separated and stained by the whole-mount periodic acid-Schiff—alcian blue method. There was a significant fall in the goblet-cell density from the proximal to the distal airways. In the upper division, the number decreased from 144 cells per field (second generation) to 80 cells per field (14th generation), and in the lingular division it decreased from 137 (fourth generation) to 77 cells (18th generation). The overall goblet-cell density for the upper lobe was 113 cells per field, corresponding to 6,400 cells per square millimeter. No particular pattern in cell distribution was noticed; the cells were irregularly distributed all along the bronchial tree without any well-defined distribution pattern. In the ten lung specimens studied, goblet-cell density did not correlate with smoking habit, sex, or age.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1986;112:316-320)