"Giant cell" pneumonia has received occasional attention since the first report of Buhl.1 Among others, Hecht,2 Aufrecht,3 Friedländer4 and Karsner and Meyers5 have reported cases and discussed the origin and significance of the cells. In the course of routine autopsy examination of children, certain facts and interpretations have become evident. Since these conclusions are in contrast to the accepted German opinions, it seems desirable to record them.
For purposes of this discussion a giant cell is defined as a protoplasmic mass with two or more nuclei. With this criterion, we have encountered giant cells in early acute bronchopneumonia, in late post-infectious bronchopneumonia, in the alveoli about areas of acute bronchopneumonia, in the type of lesion designated as "pneumonie desquamativ" and in pneumonia alba. In this paper we shall record briefly the clinical and autopsy observations in five typical cases, and shall discuss the types of