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A Review of Granular Cell Tumours at the University Hospital of the West Indies: 1965–2006

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Objective: Granular cell tumours are uncommon lesions that occur in a wide variety of sites. They are usually benign, but as they are infrequently diagnosed preoperatively, they may be confused clinically with malignant lesions. The objective of this study was to assess the relative frequency and the clinicopathologic characteristics of granular cell tumours identified at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) over a 41-year period.

Methods: The archives of surgical pathology reports in the Department of Pathology at the UHWI from 1965 to 2006 were searched for all cases of granular cell tumour. From these records, a number of demographic and other data were recorded and analyzed.

Results: One hundred and thirty cases of granular cell tumours were found in 122 patients. Of these, 99 patients were female and 23 male, providing a male: female ratio of 1 to 4.3. The ages ranged from 5 days to 82 years with a mean age (excluding the 2 youngest cases) of 34.4 years. Lesions ranged in size from 0.2 cm to 10 cm in greatest dimension, the average size being 1.85 cm and were found in a diverse array of anatomic locations, the most common being the vulva, breast and tongue. The correct clinical diagnosis was proffered preoperatively in only one case. In contrast, a malignant diagnosis was suggested in 19 cases.

Conclusions: Compared with other studies, there was a notable difference in the distribution of granular cell tumours in this series. In particular, lesions of the tongue accounted for fewer than expected, while lesions of the breast and vulva were considerably increased. The well-recognized female predominance was also substantially higher than in other studies.

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e-Published: 18 Sep, 2013
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