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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2000 Jun;124(6):894-7.

Spindle cell tumor of urinary bladder serosa with phenotypic and genotypic features of gastrointestinal stromal tumor.

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  • 1Department of Soft Tissue Pathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC 20306-6000, USA.


Most mesenchymal tumors of the gastrointestinal tract are now referred to as gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs). The tumors differ from ordinary leiomyomas and schwannomas in several respects: the GISTs typically express c-kit protein (CD117) and CD34, 30% to 50% of them are (often focally) positive for alpha-smooth muscle actin, and all are negative for desmin and S100 protein. Recently, mutations in the exon 11 of the c-kit gene have been identified and confirmed as a molecular genetic marker for the subset of GISTs. In this report, we describe a mesenchymal tumor removed from the pelvic cavity of a 52-year-old woman, who is alive without disease 36 months after the surgery. The 5-cm tumor was densely attached to the external aspect of the urinary bladder but was attached to small intestine by only filmy adhesions. The tumor grossly resembled a leiomyoma and was histologically composed of sheets of spindle cells with a dense collagenous background. The mitotic activity was low, less then 1 per 50 high-power fields. Immunohistochemically, the tumor cells were negative for alpha-smooth muscle actin and desmin and positive for CD117 and CD34. Molecular genetic analysis of the exon 11 of the c-kit gene revealed a point mutation in the region commonly mutated in GISTs. This mutation substituted T for A in the codon 557, leading to the change of amino acid sequence (tryptophan for arginine) of the KIT protein. This case illustrates that tumors phenotypically and genotypically similar to GISTs may present in sites other than the tubular gastrointestinal tract.

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