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Hum Pathol. 2004 Oct;35(10):1223-30.

Myxoid epithelioid gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) with mast cell infiltrations: a subtype of GIST with mutations of platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha gene.

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Department of Pathology, Jichi Medical School, Tochigi, Japan.


We analyzed 30 gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) that were immunohistochemically weak or negative for KIT. Histologically, all 30 GISTs consisted of epithelioid tumor cells in at least a part of the tumor. The tumor cells showed different morphologies and arranged themselves in different histological patterns. In 20 of the 30 GISTs, round or oval epithelioid tumor cells often showed a less cohesive pattern of growth and showed eosinophilic cytoplasm and peripherally placed nuclei with myxoid stroma, whereas in the remaining 10 cases, tumor cells were arranged in a more cohesive pattern without myxoid stroma. The former type of tumors is called myxoid epithelioid GISTs in this study. Subsequent mutational analyses showed that the platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRA) gene mutations in exon 12 or exon 18 were identified in 20 (66.7%) of the 30 GISTs, and especially in 18 (90%) of the 20 myxoid epithelioid GISTs. Moreover, 17 (85%) of the 20 myxoid epithelioid GISTs were accompanied by mast cell infiltrations within the tumor nodules. In the remaining cases, 2 (6.7%) of the 30 GISTs had c-kit gene mutations in exon 11, and no mutation was found in 8 (26.7%) of 30 GISTs. None of the patients with myxoid epithelioid GISTs died of disease. These results suggest that myxoid epithelioid GISTs are a distinct subtype of GISTs that are closely correlated with the PDGFRA gene mutation and that recognition of such histological characteristics should be helpful for molecular subclassification of GISTs that are important for molecular targeting therapy by imatinib mesylate (STI571).

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