A lupus erythematosus (LE) cell is a leukocyte (usually a neutrophil) with a single large reddish-purple amorphous inclusion that nearly fills the cytoplasm of the cell . This inclusion represents the nucleus of a damaged leukocyte that has been opsonized by ANA and complement and phagocytized by an intact leukocyte. LE cells occasionally form in vitro in stored anticoagulated blood, bone marrow, and joint fluids. The LE celltest is performed by promoting the formation of LE cells by rupturing leukocytes to expose their nuclear material either by forcing clotted blood through a sieve or by mixing anticoagulated blood vigorously with glass beads. After the leukocytes have been ruptured, the samples are incubated to allow time for LE cell formation. Buffy-coat smears are made, stained, and examined for the presence of LE cells. The finding of a single LE cell is considered a positive test result.
Also known as: Lupus Erythematosus Cell Quantitative Buffy Coat Blood, Lupus Erythematosus Cell.