Definition of Xanthoma
Xanthoma: Yellowish firm
nodules in the skin frequently indicating underlying disease, such as diabetes, disorder
of fats (lipid disorder or hyperlipidemia), or other
conditions. A xanthoma is a kind of harmless growth of tissue.
Under the microscope, a xanthoma can be seen to be composed of
lipid-laden foam cells. These cells, termed histiocytes, contain
lipid material in their cytoplasm (the nonnuclear zone of the cell).
The word "xanthoma" is made up of "xanth-" from the Greek
roots "xanthos" (yellow) and "oma" (swelling) = a yellow swelling. A
xanthoma is a circumscribed yellow swelling, a yellowish
Last Editorial Review: 8/28/2013
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