What are granular cell tumors (GCTs)?

Updated: Nov 12, 2020
  • Author: Vladimir O Osipov, MD; Chief Editor: E Jason Abel, MD  more...
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Granular cell tumors (GCTs), also known as Abrikossoff tumors, are rare soft-tissue neoplasms probably derived from Schwann cells. [1, 2]  

Most granular cell tumors are benign, although some may be locally aggressive. [3]  Less than 2% are malignant, but these are aggressive and associated with a poor prognosis. [4, 5]

Granularity of the cells in these tumors is due to the accumulation of secondary lysosomes in the cytoplasm. This change is rather nonspecific and can be observed in many non-neural tumors, including those arising from smooth muscle, connective tissue, neuroglia, endothelial, and epithelial cells.

This article describes neural granular cell tumors. Non-neural granular cell tumors are discussed only as differential diagnoses.

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