Volume 913 of the series Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology pp 207-228


Primary Extragastrointestinal Stromal Tumours in the Hepatobiliary Tree and Telocytes

  • Somanath PadhiAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology and Lab Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences Email author 
  • , Hemanta Kumar NayakAffiliated withDepartment of Gastroenterology, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences

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The first decade of the twenty-first century witnessed the presence and light microscopic, immunophenotypic, and ultrastructural characterization of interstitial Cajal-like cells (coined as ‘telocytes’) in virtually every extragastrointestinal site of the human body by Laurentiu M. Popescu and his co-workers. Not surprisingly, stromal tumours, immunophenotypically similar to that of telocytes [CD117 (c-KIT) +/CD34 +], have also been sporadically reported outside the tubular gut (so-called extragastrointestinal stromal tumours, EGISTs), including the gall bladder, liver, and pancreas. A meticulous literature search from January 2000 to November 2015 have found 9 such case reports of EGISTs in the gall bladder, 16 in the liver, and 31 occurring in the pancreas. The site wise mean age at presentation for these tumours were reported to be 62.2 ± 16.6, 50.9 ± 20.1, and 55.3 ± 14.3 years, respectively. Six of nine EGISTs in the gall bladder were associated with gallstones. On pathological evaluation, these tumours exhibited prominent spindled cell morphology and consistent expression of CD117/c-KIT and CD34 on immunohistochemistry and variable expression of vimentin and α-smooth muscle actin. The biological behaviour of hepatic and pancreatic lesions was favourable compared to that in the gall bladder, following definitive surgery with or without imatinib therapy. While the exact pathophysiologic role played by telocytes in various organs is yet to be fully elucidated, there seems to be a direct link between these enigmatic stromal cells and pathogenesis of gallstones and origin of EGISTs, and a hope for targeted therapies. Furthermore, the possible role of telocytes in hepatic regeneration and liver fibrosis opens a new dimension for futuristic research.


EGIST Gall bladder Gallstones Liver Telocytes