Endoscopy 2010; 42: E158-E159
DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1244140
Unusual cases and technical notes

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Multiple granular cell tumor of the colon

J.  B.  Soares1 , A.  Machado1 , R.  Gonçalves1
  • 1Gastroenterology Department of Braga Hospital, Braga, Portugal
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
16 June 2010 (online)

A 44-year-old man was referred to our endoscopy unit because of a family history of colorectal neoplasia. Colonoscopy revealed numerous semi-pedunculated polyps with intact mucosa, measuring 6 – 12 mm, in the cecum (n = 2), ascending (n = 5), and transverse (n = 2) colon. The two largest polyps, measuring 8 mm and 12 mm, respectively, and occurring in the ascending colon ([Fig. 1]), were removed by snare polypectomy. Histologic examination of the polyps revealed a submucosal tumor composed of cells with small round nuclei and abundant granular eosinophilic cytoplasm ([Fig. 2]). Immunohistochemical analysis showed the tumor cells expressed S-100 protein ([Fig. 3]). The resected polyps were diagnosed as granular cell tumor (GCT). Upper endoscopy, enteroscopy by videocapsule, and abdominal computed tomography scan were unremarkable. The patient entered an annual endoscopic follow-up program.

Fig. 1 Narrow-band imaging showed three semi-pedunculated polyps covered by normal mucosa in the ascending colon.

Fig. 2 Histologic examination of the polypectomy specimen showed a submucosal tumor composed of cells with abundant granular cytoplasm. (Hematoxylin and eosin, × 50).

Fig. 3 Immunohistochemical examination for S-100 protein revealed diffuse and strong expression of S-100 protein in tumor cells (× 50).

GCT is a rare tumor that may occur in any site of the body [1] [2]. It commonly occurs in the oral cavity, the skin, and the subcutaneous tissue, and is seldom found in the gastrointestinal tract [1] [2]. In the gastrointestinal tract, the most common site is the esophagus, followed by the large intestine [1] [2]. Gastrointestinal GCT is usually found incidentally during endoscopy as a submucosal tumor and is multiple in 10 % – 20 % of all cases (15 patients described in the literature) [2].

The final diagnosis of GCT depends on pathologic findings: cells with small, uniform nuclei and abundant granular eosinophilic cytoplasm containing acidophilic, periodic acid-Schiff (PAS)-positive, diastase-resistant granules, and expression of S-100 protein or neuron-specific enolase [1] [2].

GCT is usually clinically and histologically benign, with only a few malignant GCT cases reported [1] [2]. Malignant behavior is suggested by large size (> 4 cm), rapid growth, and invasion of the adjacent tissues rather than the histologic features [1] [2]. As gastrointestinal GCTs are considered benign, a conservative approach is suggested by means of endoscopic resection and a strict endoscopic follow-up [2].

Competing interests: None



J. B. Soares, MD 

Gastroenterology Department of Braga Hospital

Largo Eng. Carlos Amarante
Apartado 2242
4701-965 Braga

Fax: +351-253-209092

Email: jbrunosoares@yahoo.com