Mesenchymal tumors


Topic Completed: 19 February 2021

Minor changes: 5 March 2021

Copyright: 2017-2021,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Ganglioneuroma [TIAB] colon

Raul S. Gonzalez, M.D.
Page views in 2020: 4,152
Page views in 2021 to date: 4,822
Cite this page: Gonzalez RS. Ganglioneuroma. website. Accessed October 28th, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Benign mesenchymal polyp in the colon
  • Unrelated to lesion of the same name in the adrenal gland
Essential features
  • Uncommon colonic mesenchymal polyp with prominent ganglion cells
  • Associated with Cowden syndrome, especially if multiple polyps
  • Colorectum is most common site in gastrointestinal tract
Clinical features
  • Typically found during screening colonoscopy
Case reports
  • Polypectomy generally curative
Clinical images

Images hosted on other servers:


Gross description
  • Usually small (a few millimeters) but can rarely grow to 2 - 3 cm
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Expansion of the lamina propria by bland spindled mesenchymal cells (Schwann cells), lacking atypia or mitotic figures
  • Ganglion cells present within the expanded region; may be rare or abundant
Microscopic (histologic) images

Contributed by Christopher Hartley, M.D. and Case #305


Positive stains
Sample pathology report
  • Transverse colon, polypectomy:
    • Ganglioneuroma
Differential diagnosis
Board review style question #1
A 60 year old patient undergoes colonoscopy and is found to have a solitary ganglioneuroma. What should be the next step in working up this patient?

  1. Colectomy for possible ganglioneuromatosis
  2. Follow up colonoscopy in 1 year
  3. Genetic screening for Cowden syndrome
  4. Imaging to search for ganglioneuromas at other sites
  5. No further workup needed
Board review style answer #1
E. No further workup needed

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Reference: Ganglioneuroma
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