Soft tissue

Fibroblastic / myofibroblastic

Giant cell fibroblastoma

Last author update: 1 July 2012
Last staff update: 25 July 2023

Copyright: 2002-2024,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Giant cell fibroblastoma

Komal Arora, M.D.
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Cite this page: Arora K. Giant cell fibroblastoma. website. Accessed April 15th, 2024.
Definition / general
  • Usually children less than 10 years old, 2/3 male
  • Painless nodule of subcutis, usually in trunk, extremities, head and neck
  • 50% recur but recurrences are controllable, no metastases
Case reports
Clinical images

Contributed by Mark R. Wick, M.D.


Gross description
  • Poorly circumscribed, gray to yellow mucoid mass that is difficult to completely excise, usually in subcutis
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Dermis and subcutis contains hyperchromatic spindle or stellate shaped cells in a collagenous or myxoid matrix with scattered hyperchromatic, multinucleated, floret-like giant cells with prominent nucleoli, similar to those in pleomorphic lipomas
  • Ectatic pseudovascular spaces are lined by a discontinuous row of floret-like cells and tumor cells
  • Honeycomb or parallel pattern of infiltration
  • Also hyalinized area, perivascular lymphocytes in onionskin pattern, intralesional hemorrhage
  • Often foci of DFSP
  • No histiocyte-like cells, no mitotic figures
Microscopic (histologic) images

Contributed by Mark R. Wick, M.D. and AFIP

Ectatic pseudovascular spaces are lined by giant cells

Stroma has giant cells and myxoid stroma

Fibrotic stroma

Multinucleated stromal giant cells

Breast skin

Cytology description
  • Moderately cellular smears with mononuclear cells, usually single but occasionally in clusters
  • Most cells have no/scanty cytoplasm, bland nuclei with small nucleoli
  • Nuclear membranes often have notches, creases or folds
  • Rare multinucleated giant cells with bland oval nuclei
  • No necrosis, no mitotic figures (Diagn Cytopathol 2002;26:398, Arch Pathol Lab Med 2001;125:1091)
Positive stains
Negative stains
Electron microscopy description
  • Myofibroblasts or fibroblasts
Molecular / cytogenetics description
  • t(17,22)(q22;q13) - creates fusion of collagen type 1 alpha 1 gene and platelet derived growth factor B chain gene
  • Also supernumerary ring chromosomes derived from t(17;22)
Differential diagnosis
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