Malignant Granular Cell Tumor at the Retrotracheal Space

Seok Woo Yang, Soon Won Hong, Mee Yon Cho, Seong Joon Kang

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14 Citations (Scopus)


We report a case of an extremely rare neoplasm, malignant granular cell tumor (MGCT). The patient was a 21-year-old woman, who was 5 months pregnant. The tumor occurred in the retrotracheal space, extending from the level of the larynx to the thoracic inlet. In addition, there were multiple, variable-sized tumor nodules within both lung fields on chest CT scan. Histologically, tissue biopsied from the periphery of the tumor consisted of solid sheets of large ovoid cells with ample, eosinophilic cytoplasm, eccentric nuclei, and prominent nucleoli. Each cell showed slight atypism of the nuclei. There was a focal necrosis at the periphery of the lesion. These cells stained strongly for S-100 protein, neuron-specific enolase (NSE) and CD68. On electron microscopy, the tumor cells contained autophagic vacuoles. The patient refused further treatment and died 7 months later. The exact cause of death was not known. Until now, the diagnosis of MGCTs has been made only when metastasis and an aggressive clinical course are identified, although some observers advocate that some histologic features such as nuclear pleomorphism, necrosis, and the presence of any mitotic activity are indicative of malignancy. These histologic findings are not easily detectable in every case of MGCT, as in our case. So the diagnosis of a MGCT should be considered in cases with aggressive clinical findings and some histologic features, such as necrosis, nuclear atypism, and mitotic activities, which could suggest the malignant behavior of this neoplasm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-79
Number of pages4
JournalYonsei medical journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Feb

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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