What are gingival granular cell tumors (GCTs)?

Updated: Nov 12, 2020
  • Author: Vladimir O Osipov, MD; Chief Editor: E Jason Abel, MD  more...
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Gingival granular cell tumor of newborns is an extremely rare variant and manifests as a polypoid swelling situated exclusively over the lateral alveolar ridge, especially of the maxilla. More than 90% of patients are girls. [21] These lesions are likely to be reactive rather than neoplastic in nature, and, ultimately, they may be segregated from granular cell tumors. Lesions, noticed soon after birth, show the usual histopathologic features of granular cell tumors; however, the following differences from the adult counterpart are noted:

  • The lesions do not grow, and some regress

  • Recurrence has not been noted, even after incomplete resection

  • The lesions do not have a malignant counterpart

  • The lesions have a prominent plexiform network of capillaries and scattered inflammatory cells

  • Occasionally, lesions show entrapped odontogenic epithelium

  • Pseudoepitheliomatous hyperplasia of overlying squamous epithelium is less conspicuous or may be absent

  • The cells do not stain positively for the S-100 protein

  • Ultrastructurally, the lesional cells show a few histiocytic features, and giant lysosomes (globules/angulate bodies) are not observed.

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