Granular Cell Tumor

Granular Cell Tumor

Granular cell tumors form solid firm masses that can be circumscribed or irregular. This tumor has a homogeneous white surface and pushing border in contrast to the surrounding yellow adipose tissue.

This core needle biopsy shows a granular cell tumor consisting of cells with abundant foamy eosinophilic cytoplasm infiltrating in a collagenous stroma. The borders are slightly irregular image.



  • Granular cell tumor (GCT)


  • Granular cell myoblastoma


  • Tumor thought to arise from Schwann cells, consisting of granular cells (cells with abundant eosinophilic bubbly cytoplasm)



  • Incidence

    • Rare breast lesion: Only 1 GCT occurs for every 100-200 cases of carcinoma

  • Age

    • Occurs most commonly during childbearing years (range: 17-74 years of age)

  • Gender

    • Similar to other breast lesions, majority occur in women with only 10% in men

  • Ethnicity

    • African-American women are affected more commonly than Caucasian women


  • Majority of patients present with solitary palpable mass that may be firm or hard

    • Most common in upper inner breast (carcinomas are most common in upper outer breast)

    • Rarely, multiple masses are present (5-10%)

    • Mass may retract skin or be adherent to chest wall

  • Smaller tumors may be detected as a density on mammographic screening

Natural History

  • Benign and slow growing

  • Rare reports of local recurrence

  • Very rare reports of malignant GCT with metastases to lymph nodes or lung


  • Most tumors are completely excised by surgery

Jul 6, 2016 | Posted by in PATHOLOGY & LABORATORY MEDICINE | Comments Off on Granular Cell Tumor

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