, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 84-88
Date: 05 May 2005

Differential diagnosis of gastrointestinal leiomyoma versus gastrointestinal stromal tumor

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Strategies for the diagnosis of tumors arising in the intestinal muscular wall are rapidly evolving. Immunoreactivity for CD117 (KIT) usually supports the diagnosis of gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), but a small subset of GISTs lacks KIT expression. In these cases the differential diagnosis of KIT-negative GIST versus one of their morphological mimics is difficult and bears critical implications for therapeutic management.

Case report

Here, we report a case of a KIT-negative smooth muscle cell tumor of the colon in a 21-year-old man with the clinical appearance of GIST. Mutations of the KIT and platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRA) gene could be ruled out. No chromosomal imbalances characteristic of GIST were found. However, cytogenetic analysis revealed losses at 7q, which has previously been reported in cases of uterine leiomyoma.


We discuss current approaches to the differential diagnosis of true gastrointestinal smooth muscle cell tumor versus GIST.