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Multinucleated stromal giant cells were seen in the colonic mucosa in biopsy specimens from two patients with long-standing quiescent ulcerative colitis. Similar cells have been described at other sites associated with chronic inflammation, including the lower female genital tract, bladder and anus. The immunophenotype of the cells in the colonic mucosa suggested that they had originated from fibroblasts rather than histiocytes, in common with cells seen at other sites of inflammation. These examples lend support to the concept of there being a reactive morphological change possibly related to interaction with mast cells. These multinucleated giant cells are distinct from histiocytic giant cells and should not be confused with them.