Contribution of electron microscopy to understanding cellular differentiation in mesenchymal tumors of the gastrointestinal tract: a study of 82 tumors.
ABSTRACT Eighty-two mesenchymal tumors of the gastrointestinal tract were examined by electron microscopy for the purposes of subtyping for diagnostic precision and of understanding cellular differentiation. Tumors were subclassified into leiomyoma/leiomyosarcoma, tumors of the interstitial cell of Cajal (equivalent to traditionally defined GISTs [Miettinen et al. Hum Pathol. 1999; 30:1213-1220; Mod Pathol. 2000; 13:1134-1142]), gastrointestinal autonomic nerve tumors (GANTs), and fibroblastic and myofibroblastic tumors, using criteria from the literature. Leiomyoma/leiomyosarcoma were diagnosed by myofilaments, attachment plaques, plasmalemmal caveolae, and lamina; GIST by processes or cell bodies full of intermediate filaments, solitary focal densities amid intermediate filaments, attachment plaques with incomplete lamina, scarce myofilaments, and smooth endoplasmic reticulum; GANTs by neuroendocrine granules, cell bodies/processes full of intermediate filaments (more rarely microtubules), and smooth endoplasmic reticulum; fibroblastic/myofibroblastic tumors by abundant rough endoplasmic reticulum, myofilaments, and fibronexuses. Seventy-three tumors (89%) were successfully subclassified, as 5 leiomyoma/leiomyosarcoma (6%), 36 GISTs (44%), 22 GANTs (27%), 10 fibroblastic and myofibroblastic tumors (12%). Results indicated overlap between poorly differentiated leiomyosarcoma and GIST, and between GIST and GANT. GANT is emphasized as a neuronal tumor identifiable by electron microscopy, and thereby distinguishable from GIST.
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ABSTRACT: Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are the most common mesenchymal tumors in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Although interstitial cells of Cajal has been suggested as origin of this tumor, the cytological and ultrastructural features of GISTs are heterogeneous and unclear. A total 10 cases of normal gastrointestinal tissue (control), 13 GISTs of the stomach (8), small intestine (3), mesocolon (1) and liver (1), and 2 gastrointestinal autonomic nervous tumor (GANT) of small intestine were ultrastructurally studied. Normal interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) were abundantly present around the myenteric plexuses or individually scattered through the wall of GIT. ICC was characterized by slender cytoplasmic processes, well-developed endoplasmic reticulum (ER), mitochondria, Golgi apparatus, caveolae and intermediate filaments. The GISTs and GANTs had overlapping ultrastructures. The most common and important ultrastructural features of GISTs were rich villous cytoplasmic processes, dispersed intermediate filaments and abundant SER, and those of GANTs were neurosecretory granules and skenoid fibers. Compared with ICC, the GISTs and GANTs had remarkably reduced caveolae and gap junctions. Our study suggested that ultrastructural analysis gives much information to investigate lineage differentiation of neoplastic cells and make a differential diagnosis of these tumors from other mesenchymal tumors and between GISTs and GANTs.Journal of Korean Medical Science 05/2004; 19(2):234-44. · 0.99 Impact Factor