Granular cell tumor D36.1

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 03.08.2021

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Abrikossoff`s tumor; Abrikossoff tumor; Foam cell tumor; Granular cell myoblastoma; Granular cell schwannoma; Granular cell tumor; granular neuroma; Myeloblastic myoma; Myoblastic myoma; Neurom granular

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Abrikossoff, 1926

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Descriptive term for a series of rare, heterogeneous, predominantly benign tumors that are characterized by the predominant occurrence of granular cells. In the skin and in the mucous membranes close to the skin, most granular cell tumours are of neurogenic origin and also show a close relationship morphologically to peripheral nerves. Clinically, the tumors are uncharacteristic. Thus, the diagnosis is usually an incidental finding.

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Mostly occurring in women (20.-60. LJ). Rarely from birth or in children and adolescents.

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Occurrence is possible on the whole integer. The tongue, lips, thorax and extremities are frequently affected (Tobouti PL et al. 2017). Infection of internal organs is possible.

Clinical features
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Solitary, pea-sized, coarse, skin-coloured or reddish-yellow tumour. Multiple occurrences are also known. Occasional occurrence of superficial leukoplakia.

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  • Mostly a compact tumour penetrating the entire dermis with nests and strands of oval to polygonal, distended cells with eosinophil granulated cytoplasm. The cell nuclei are usually small and pynotic and are located in a decentralized position. A characteristic feature of granular cell tumors is a clearly acanthotic, orthokeratotic surface epithelium covering the tumor parenchyma.
  • Immunohistochemistry: Tumor cells are positive for S100, neuron-specific enolase and myelin basic protein, among others.

Differential diagnosis
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Excision without significant safety distance.

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Favourable, very rarely malignant degeneration (1-2%). In case of multiple infestation clinical control examinations.

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Originally, Abrikossoff described the granular cell tumors as myogenic tumors. It was not until 23 years later that the Austrian pathologist Feyrter was able to prove their neurogenic genesis. Today, the tumors are considered to be a variant of schwannoma.

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Abrikossoff AP (1926) Ueber Myome, ausgehend von der quergestreiften willkuerlichen Muskulatur. Virchows Arch 260: 215-233

Bergner T et al (1991) Solitary and multiple granular cell tumors. Dermatologist 42: 162-167

  1. Bulstrode NW et al (2004) Granular cell tumour of the glans penis. Br J Plast Surg 57: 83-85
  2. Feyrter F (1949) On the granular neurogenic growths. Beitr Pathol Anat 110: 181-209
  3. Gross VL (2002) Multiple cutaneous granular cell tumors: a case report and review of the literature. Cutis 69: 343-346
  4. Packeisen J et al (2002) Epulis in a newborn. histogenetic comparison with a granular cell tumor in adults. Pathologist 23: 145-148
  5. Schmidt O et al. (2003) Recurrence and rapid metastasis formation of a granular cell tumor of the vulva. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 106: 219-221
  6. Stefansson K et al (1982) S-100 protein in granular cell tumors. Cancer 49: 1834-1838
  7. Tobouti PL et al. (2017) Extra-tongue oral granular cell tumor: Histological and immunohistochemical
  8. aspect. Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal 22:e31-e35.


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Last updated on: 03.08.2021