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Am J Surg Pathol. 1991 Jan;15(1):48-58.

Primitive polypoid granular-cell tumor and other cutaneous granular-cell neoplasms of apparent nonneural origin.

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Department of Pathology, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0506.


Most cutaneous and noncutaneous granular-cell tumors are currently thought to be of Schwann-cell derivation. We present seven unusual cutaneous granular-cell lesions in which Schwann-cell origin can be excluded or is inapparent. Four of these lesions are of a previously undescribed type, and, unlike conventional granular-cell tumors of the skin, show a polypoid configuration, numerous mitoses, cytologic atypia, and a primitive immunophenotype. We propose the term "primitive polypoid granular-cell tumor" for these lesions. One occurred in a child, and three in adults. There have been no metastases to date, with follow-up periods of 2, 4, 4, and 16 years, respectively, although one tumor recurred locally. Additional cases and longer follow-up may be required to rule out the possibility that primitive polypoid granular-cell tumor is a low-grade malignancy. Two other granular-cell lesions represent variants of leiomyosarcoma, one of which widely metastasized. The last case is a granular-cell form of nodular basal-cell carcinoma. Cutaneous granular-cell neoplasms can show varying differentiation and behavior. Pathologists should not equate the occurrence of cytoplasmic granularity in a cutaneous neoplasm with the diagnosis of granular-cell schwannoma.

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