Skeletal Radiology

, Volume 34, Issue 10, pp 625–631 | Cite as

Granular cell tumor of the extremity: magnetic resonance imaging characteristics with pathologic correlation

  • Marcia F. Blacksin
  • Lawrence M. White
  • Meera Hameed
  • Rita Kandel
  • Francis R. Patterson
  • Joseph Benevenia
Scientific Article



The purpose of this study is to delineate the magnetic resonance (MR) appearance of a granular cell tumor (GrCT) of the extremity and to correlate the imaging appearance with the microscopic findings.

Design and patients

A retrospective review of five patients with a histopathologic diagnosis of GrCT and pre-operative MR imaging of the neoplasm was done. The images were reviewed by two musculoskeletal radiologists in a consensus fashion. Lesion location, size, shape, margination, and signal intensity characteristics were assessed. MR findings were correlated with histopathological examination.


The benign subtype of GrCT is usually isointense or brighter than muscle on T1-weighted sequences, round or oval in shape, superficial in location, and 4 cm or less in size. On T2-weighted sequences, benign lesions may demonstrate a high peripheral signal, as well as a central signal intensity that is isointense to muscle or suppressed fat. A significant stromal component in the tumor and, hypothetically, a ribbon-like arrangement of tumor cells may influence the signal intensity demonstrated on the T1 and T2-weighted sequences. The malignant subtype may demonstrate signal intensity characteristics and invasion of adjacent structures often seen with other aggressive neoplasms; sizes larger than 4 cm and association with major nerve trunks can be seen.


Benign GrCT has imaging characteristics which may distinguish this tumor from other soft tissue neoplasms, as well as the malignant type of this tumor.


Magnetic resonance imaging MRI Granular cell tumor Soft tissue neoplasm 


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Copyright information

© ISS 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcia F. Blacksin
    • 1
  • Lawrence M. White
    • 2
  • Meera Hameed
    • 3
  • Rita Kandel
    • 4
  • Francis R. Patterson
    • 5
  • Joseph Benevenia
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Radiology, University of Medicine and Dentistry, C320University HospitalNewarkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medical ImagingMount Sinai Hospital and the University Health NetworkTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of PathologyUniversity of Medicine and DentistryNewarkUSA
  4. 4.Department of PathologyMount Sinai HospitalTorontoCanada
  5. 5.Department of OrthopedicsUniversity of Medicine and DentistryNewarkUSA

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