Soft tissue
Other tumors
Granular cell tumor

Author: Vijay Shankar, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 23 August 2017, last major update November 2012

Copyright: (c) 2003-2016, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed search: granular cell tumor [title] soft tissue

Cite this page: Shankar, V. Granular cell tumor. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/softtissuegranularcell.html. Accessed October 22nd, 2017.
Definition / general
  • Classic location is tongue, also most other tissues
  • Blacks may have multiple lesions
  • Congenital tumors occur in gingiva, but are rare; occasionally congenital tumors are systemic
  • Usually benign, although malignant tumors also look benign; those that appear malignant may be alveolar soft part sarcoma
  • May reflect degenerative change that can occur in Schwann cells, smooth muscle cells or tumors
Case reports
Clinical images
Images hosted on PathOut server:

Arm, courtesy of Dr. Mark R. Wick



Images hosted on other servers:

Tongue nodule

Forearm

Gross description
  • Hard, ill defined margins, usually < 5 cm, may be ulcerated, may appear malignant
Gross images
Images hosted on PathOut server:

Courtesy of Dr. Mark R. Wick



Images hosted on other servers:

Chest wall

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Large cells with highly granular cytoplasm, small regular granules plus larger eosinophilic PAS+ round droplets
  • Associated with secondary epithelial hyperplasia (pseudoepitheliomatous hyperplasia) when grow near an epithelial surface
  • May see stromal elastosis
Microscopic (histologic) images
Images hosted on PathOut server:

H&E, COW #434

H&E, COW #434

S100, COW #434

CD68, COW #434

Ki67, COW #434



Courtesy of Dr. Mark R. Wick



Images hosted on other servers:

Various images

Erythematous lesion on forearm

Chest wall

Tongue nodule


Scrotum

Cytology images

Images hosted on PathOut server, COW #434:

Papanicolaou

May Grünwald Giemsa




Images hosted on other servers:

Forearm

Positive stains
Electron microscopy description
  • Granules resemble lysosomes, also angulated bodies with Gaucher cell-like appearance, replicated basal lamina around granular cells
Board review question #1
Which of the following is not a typical feature of granular cell tumors?

A. Abundant lysosomes in the cytoplasm, which imparts a finely granular appearance
B. Naked nuclei on fine needle aspirate smears
C. Overlying squamous hyperplasia
D. Poor circumscription
E. Prominent, cherry red nucleoli
Board review answer #1
E. Prominent, cherry red nucleoli are not a feature of benign GCT. Prominent nucleoli should prompt exclusion of malignancies such as alveolar soft part sarcoma.