Other tumors

Glomus tumor

Topic Completed: 1 July 2012

Minor changes: 11 May 2021

Copyright: 2003-2021,, Inc.

PubMed search: glomus tumor stomach

Elliot Weisenberg, M.D.
Page views in 2020: 2,867
Page views in 2021 to date: 3,266
Cite this page: Weisenberg E. Glomus tumor. website. Accessed November 29th, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Mesenchymal tumor composed of modified smooth muscle cells; neoplastic counterpart of perivascular glomus bodies
  • Common site is distal extremities; rare in GI tract; most common GI site is stomach
Clinical features
  • More common in women, median age 55 years (range, 19-90 years, Am J Surg Pathol 2002;26:301)
  • Presents with bleeding (may be life threatening), ulcer symptoms or as incidental finding
  • Much less common than GIST
  • Usually benign, may metastasize to liver and cause death; malignant behavior more likely if > 5 cm, but cannot predict based on histology
Radiology images

Case #393

53 year old man

Case reports
Gross description
  • 2-5 cm (range, 1.1 to 7 cm) intramural mass, usually antral
  • Circumscribed, often with overlying mucosal ulceration and multinodular
Gross images

Case #393

53 year old man

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Multiple cellular nodules often separated by streaks of gastric smooth muscle
  • Glomus cells are round, sharply demarcated, with cytoplasmic clearing
  • Hyaline and myxoid change often in center of tumor
  • Mildly dilated pericytoma-like vessels
  • Vascular invasion and focal atypia common
  • 1-4 mitotic figures / 50 HPF
Microscopic (histologic) images

Case #393

Images hosted on other servers:

Epithelial cells (left), Calponin+ (right)

Solid growth pattern

Glomus cells and tumor

Positive stains
Negative stains
Electron microscopy description
  • Cytoplasm packed with myofilaments with focal condensations
  • Resembles smooth muscle cells
Differential diagnosis
  • Carcinoid: less prominent cell borders, coarser chromatin, keratin+, chromogranin+, synaptophysin+
  • Epithelioid GIST: pericellular clearing, polygonal and not oval / round, less prominent veins / capillaries
  • Hemangiopericytoma / solitary fibrous tumor: very rare in GI tract, actin-
  • Paraganglioma: zellballen surrounded by sustentacular cells; chromogranin+, synaptophysin+, S100+
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