Maltese Cross appearance

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Maltese Cross appearance2016-11-23T18:36:23+00:00

Maltese Cross appearance

maltese cross image from New Medical Terms

Maltese cross

A term of art referring to a light microscopic appearance of a crystal or crystalloid structure fancifully likened to a Maltese cross, which may correspond to granules of talc, cholesterol or bacteria


“Maltese crosses” are anisotropic or birefringent cholesterol-rich fat droplets, associated with finely granular renal casts, which have a cruciform appearance by polarised light and are found 

Maltese cross appearance in urine image in New Medical terms

Maltese cross appearance in urine

both within and outside of the cells in the urine sediment of patients with nephrotic syndrome, eclampsia, renal toxicity, fat embolism, after crush injury and in Fabry’s disease–due to aggregates of glycosphingolipids (the image shows Maltese crosses in urine)


The tetrad form of Babesia spp, most typically seen in B equi, but also in B canis, B

Maltese Cross Babesia image from New Medical Terms

Maltese Cross appearance in Babesia equi

microti, and B bovis, has been termed ‘Maltese cross’ and is a rare but characteristic finding in infected red cells in a peripheral blood smear


Maltese crosses occur in arthroscopic fluid following local trauma and may correspond to cholesterol.


Maltese crosses measure 5-15

Maltese cross starch talc image from New Medical Terms

Maltese cross appearance due to starch or talc

mm in diameter, appear as scintillating granules by polarised light microscopy and correspond to starch and talc granules, and are common in the lungs of IV drug abusers who cut (dilute) heroin with powder; the granules may be accompanied by foreign body-type giant cell reaction and appear in other tissues


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