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Acta Cytol. 2002 May-Jun;46(3):560-6.

Diagnosis of gastric glomus tumor by endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration biopsy. A case report with cytologic, histologic and immunohistochemical studies.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of California Irvine Medical Center, Orange, California 92868, USA.



The majority of glomus tumor are small, benign neoplasms that arise from modified smooth muscle cells. They usually occur in the dermis or subcutis of the extremities. However, rare cases have been reported in the visceral locations, most often in the stomach.


A 32-year-old woman presented with episodes of right upper quadrant pain. She was found to have a gastric tumor that was biopsied at another hospital, where the diagnosis of gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) was made. Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) performed at our institution revealed a gastric submucosal tumor that was then biopsied by fine needle aspiration (FNA). Cytology revealed cohesive clusters of uniform, round, small cells with ill-defined cytoplasmic borders and scanty, amphophilic cytoplasm. Nuclei were round, with smooth nuclear membranes and evenly distributed, dusty chromatin. Intermingled with those epithelioid cells were small, short, spindled, normal endothelial cells. Immunohistochemical studies performed on cell block showed that the tumor cells were negative for CD34, CD117, chromogranin, synaptophysin, desmin and AE1/AE3 and were strongly positive for SMA, HHF-35 and collagen type IV. Glomus tumor was diagnosed and later confirmed by histology.


EUS-guided FNA biopsy is efficient and permits adequate sampling for accurate diagnosis of gastric glomus tumor. Although rare, glomus tumor should be in the differential diagnosis among other gastric lesions, such as well-differentiated adenocarcinoma, epithelioid GIST and carcinoid tumor.

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