Rectal GIST Presenting as a Submucosal Calculus

Mark Testroote; Marije Hoornweg; Steven Rhemrev
April 2007
Digestive Diseases & Sciences;Apr2007, Vol. 52 Issue 4, p1047
Academic Journal
Abstract  This case report presents an incidental finding of a rectal GIST (gastrointestinal stromal tumor) presenting as a submucosal calculus, not previously reported. A 53-year-old man without a significant medical history presented with abdominal pain in the left lower quadrant, and with constipation. Upon rectal examination, a hard submucosal swelling was palpated 4 cm from the anus, at 3 o’clock, in the left rectum wall. X-ray photos, computerized tomography (CT)-scan and a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan clearly showed a calculus. Excision revealed a turnip-like lesion, 3.1×2.3×1.8 cm. Analysis showed it was a rectal GIST, a rare mesenchymal tumor of the gastrointestinal tract, which expressed CD117 (or c-kit, a marker of kit-receptor tyrosine kinase) and CD34. Calcification is not a usual clinicopathological feature of GISTs [1–3], and although a number of rectal GISTs have been reported [4–9], we have found no cases so far of rectal GIST presenting as a submucosal calculus.In general, GISTs are rare mesenchymal tumors of the gastrointestinal tract (nerve tissue, smooth muscle). Histology and immunohistochemistry discriminate gastrointestinal stromal tumors from leiomyomas and neurinomas. The most important location is the stomach; the rectal location is rare. Usually, the classic signs of malignancy such as cellular invasion and metastasis are missing. A set of histologic criteria stratifies GIST for risk of malignant behavior such as mitotic activity and tumor size, cellular pleomorphism, developmental stage of the cell and quantity of cytoplasma [7,13]. Tumors with a high mitotic activity and size above 5 cm are considered malignant. Recent pharmacological advances such as tyrosine kinase inhibitors have determined c-kit (i.e., CD117) as the most important marker, amongst others. C-kit positive tumors respond extremely well to chemotherapy with Imatinib (Glivec®, Gleevec®) [10–12].


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