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Pulmonary Pathology Online

Pathology of Granular Cell Tumour of Bronchus

Dr Sampurna Roy MD   




Granular cell tumor  of the lung is a rare neoplasm comprising 6-10% of all granular cell tumor. 

It was first described in the bronchus by Kramer in 1939.

The tumour usually occurs in adults but a few cases have been reported in children.

These tumours are located in the trachea, bronchus  or in the lung parenchyma.

Granular cell tumor is usually found during bronchoscopy performed because of symptoms of pneumonia, lung cancer and hemoptysis or dyspnea.

The tumour often presents as a polypoid mass obstructing the bronchus. The tumours are most often solitary , but in some cases there may multiple lesions.

Pulmonary granular cell tumour behave in a benign fashion.

It has been observed that tumours of less than 8 mm are more amenable to endoscopic removal and larger tumors are more likely to infiltrate through the bronchial wall.

Histologically, the endobronchial granular cell tumour consisted of submucosal infiltrates of round to oval cells with distinct cell borders, abundant granular cytoplasm and eccentrically placed small round nuclei.

In some cases the cells resemble signet-ring cells.

The tumour often infiltrate into peribronchial tissue and in some cases focally infiltrate  an adjacent lymph node.

Hyalinized thickening of the subepithelial basement membrane is common.

The overlying epithelium often show  squamous metaplasia or ulceration.

There is usually no evidence of cellular atypia , necrosis, hemorrhage and  mitotic activity.

The tumours are positive for S-100 protein, neuron specific enolase, KP1 (CD68) and vimentin.

The tumours do not express  desmin, keratin or p53 oncoprotein.

Complete surgical excision is the treatment of choice.


Further reading:

Cytomorphology of granular-cell tumor of the bronchus. A case report.

Present status of granular cell tumors. Apropos of 8 new cases with tracheobronchial localization

Bronchial granular cell tumor in a child: impact of diagnostic delay on the type of surgical resection.

Granular cell tumour of the bronchus: bronchoscopic and clinical features.

Bronchopulmonary granular cell tumor

Bronchial granular-cell tumor. Report of a case with preoperative cytologic diagnosis on bronchial brushings and immunohistochemical studies.

Cytology of bronchial benign granular-cell tumor.

Granular cell tumors of the lung. Clinicopathologic study of 20 cases.

Granular cell tumours of the lower respiratory tract.

Granular cell tumor of the bronchus.

Granular cell tumor--a rare, benign respiratory tract neoplasm in the material of the Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases.



Dr Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant  Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)






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