Which gross and microscopic features are characteristic of malignant granular cell tumors (GCTs)?

Updated: Nov 12, 2020
  • Author: Vladimir O Osipov, MD; Chief Editor: E Jason Abel, MD  more...
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Histopathologic features of malignancy are unmistakable in some patients and do not pose any diagnostic difficulty. Some malignancies are identical to their benign counterparts (ie, small size, no local destruction, no infiltrative activity at the edge, bland cytology) and yet demonstrate malignant potential by way of metastases. [6, 24]

Therefore, with granular cell tumors larger than 3 cm, malignancy may be indicated by the following:

  • Locally destructive changes (eg, ulceration, necrosis, hemorrhage)

  • Infiltrative activity at the edges

  • Frequent mitoses

  • Vesicular nuclei with prominent nucleoli

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