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Ann Diagn Pathol. 2008 Apr;12(2):146-52. doi: 10.1016/j.anndiagpath.2006.12.004. Epub 2007 Aug 20.

Signet ring cell gastric schwannoma: report of a new distinctive morphological variant.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, The Ohio State University Medical Center, Arthur G. James Cancer Center, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


An 89-year-old woman was seen for indigestion, light chest pain, and melanotic stools. Endoscopic examination revealed 2 submucosal gastric masses. A subtotal gastrectomy showed 2 submucosal masses in the stomach: one infiltrating through the muscularis propria into the serosa, the second one, a well-circumscribed submucosal nodule. Histologic examination showed large tumor cells infiltrating diffusely through the muscularis propria into the subserosa. On higher magnification, numerous signet ring cells were present against a myxoid stroma, in addition to large vacuolated epithelioid cells. There was no evidence of invasion, necrosis, nuclear pleomorphism, or mitotic activity. Initial diagnostic considerations based on the histology included signet ring cell carcinoma, malignant melanoma, and a myxoid mesenchymal tumor, including gastrointestinal stromal tumor. A panel of immunohistochemical stains showed diffuse strong positivity for S-100 protein and negative reaction for CD117, bcl-2, cytokeratin AE1/AE3, Melan-A, HMB45, smooth muscle antigen, and other differentiation markers. Electron microscopic examination revealed elongated, complex, and interdigitating cell processes covered by a thin layer of continuous basement membrane material characteristic of peripheral nerve sheath differentiation. The presentation of this tumor was significant in that it was multifocal and infiltrative, mimicking a malignant neoplasm. The extensive myxoid/signet ring cell change represents a heretofore-unreported histologic variant of gastric schwannoma.

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