Lymph nodes - not lymphoma
Inflammatory disorders (noninfectious)

Author: Jaya Balakrishna, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 29 June 2018, last major update June 2016

Copyright: (c) 2002-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Erythrophagocytosis[TI]

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Cite this page: Balakrishna, J. Erythrophagocytosis. website. Accessed December 18th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Ingestion or phagocytosis of red blood cells by macrophages / sinus histiocytes
  • Present in most axilla lymph nodes to some extent, marked after breast biopsy (Am J Clin Pathol 1988;90:189)
  • May also be associated with lymphoproliferative disorders
Essential features
  • Reactive or due to trauma to the draining sites
  • Enlarged or normal sized lymph nodes
  • Sinus histiocytosis
  • Erythrocytes in the sinuses
  • Erythrophagocytosis
  • Hemosiderosis
  • Common in lymph nodes after trauma to draining sites
  • Axilla
  • Other lymph node groups
  • Posttrauma to the draining sites
  • Renal diseases: malignant hypertension, chronic glomerulonephritis, pyelonephritis
  • Infections
  • Lymph node hemorrhage, congestion
  • Sinus erythrocytosis
  • Autoimmune and other immunopathologic conditions
  • Can be seen in lymph nodes with no apparent etiology
Clinical features
  • Asymptomatic or enlarged lymph node
  • Lymph node biopsy
Prognostic factors
  • Depends on etiology
Gross description
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Brown discoloration of extensive hemosiderosis
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Sinus histiocytosis
  • Sinuses contain red blood cells
  • Erythrophagocytosis
  • Hemosiderosis
Microscopic (histologic) images

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by the histiocytes

Lymph node - erythrophagocytosis in a female F344 / N rat