Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Vascular invasion and other invasive features in granular cell tumours of the skin: a multicentre study of 119 cases
  1. Maxime Battistella1,2,3,
  2. Bernard Cribier4,5,
  3. Jean-Paul Feugeas6,
  4. Jennifer Roux3,
  5. François Le Pelletier7,
  6. Laure Pinquier8,
  7. Françoise Plantier9,10,11,
  8. for the Cutaneous Histopathology Section of the French Society of Dermatology
  1. 1Laboratoire de pathologie, Université Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, UMR-S 728, Paris, France
  2. 2INSERM, U728, Paris, France
  3. 3Laboratoire de pathologie, AP-HP-Hôpital Saint-Louis, Paris, France
  4. 4Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France
  5. 5Laboratoire d'Histopathologie Cutanée, Clinique Dermatologique, Hôpitaux Universitaires de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France
  6. 6INSERM, Université Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, France
  7. 7Pathologie, AP-HP Hôpital La Pitié Salpêtrière, Paris, France
  8. 8Centre de Pathologie Cutanée de la Roquette, Paris, France
  9. 9Cabinet de Dermatopathologie, Paris, France
  10. 10Pathologie, AP-HP-Hôpital Cochin, Paris, France
  11. 11Pathologie, Centre Hospitalier inter-communal de Créteil, Paris, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Maxime Battistella, Pathology Department, Hôpital Saint Louis, APHP, 1 avenue claude vellefaux, Paris 75010, France; maxime.battistella{at}


Background Incidental finding of vascular invasion has been described in some benign granular cell tumours. Malignancy in granular cell tumours is excessively rare and its assessment relies on necrosis and cytological criteria.

Aims To assess histopathological invasive features, particularly vascular invasion, in a large series of granular cell tumours of the skin.

Methods 119 granular cell tumours of the skin were collected in 114 patients between 2001 and 2011. Histopathological and epidemiological data were collected. Five step sections and one orcein staining were performed in all cases.

Results Mean age of the patients was 43.7±18 years. Granular cell tumours were multiple in 7% of patients. They were classified as benign in 111 cases, and atypical in eight cases. No malignant granular cell tumour was present. Tumours had 1.48±1.3 cm mean diameter, showed peripheral invasive growth pattern in 71% of cases, had a mean depth of 8.8±4.7 mm, and reached the subcutis in 66% of cases. Infiltration of arrector pili muscle occurred in 23% (95% CI 16% to 32%), and perineural spread in 66% (95% CI 56% to 74%) of cases. Vascular invasion occurred in 23% (95% CI 16% to 32%) of cases, with subendothelial layers infiltration or vascular obliteration. No intraluminal embolus was found. No association was found between vascular invasion and clinical outcome.

Conclusions Histopathological features of local invasion are frequent in otherwise benign granular cell tumours. Vascular invasion consists of an infiltration of the subendothelial layers, without intraluminal cells, and may not be considered as a marker of adverse prognosis.


Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.