Journal of the Scientific Society

: 2018  |  Volume : 45  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 143--146

Granular cell tumor of urinary bladder in adult female: A rare case report

Ajay Kumar Guntaka1, Kalyan Koti2, BSR Prasad Babu3, Anil Kumar Mutyala4, Sindhuri Avuthu5,  
1 Department of Urology, Sentini Hospitals, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of Pathology, Sentini Hospitals, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India
3 Department of Radio-Diagnosis, Sentini Hospitals, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India
4 Department of Anaesthesiology, Sentini Hospitals, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India
5 Pulmonology, Sentini Hospitals, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ajay Kumar Guntaka
Department of Urology, Sentini Hospitals (P) Ltd., Door No. 54-15-5 B and C, Besides Vinayak Theater, Ring Road, Vijayawada - 520 008, Andhra Pradesh


A 47-year-old female presented with dysuria and vague discomfort in the suprapubic region that had lasted for the previous 3 months. On evaluation, ultrasonography kidney-ureter-bladder (KUB) and computerized tomographic scan KUB revealed a nodular growth noted in the urinary bladder measuring 2 cm × 2 cm. Urine cytology was negative for malignant cells. Cystoscopy showed a nodular tumor approximately 2 cm × 2 cm in diameter that was located supratrigonal and extended to the posterior wall of the bladder. The patient underwent transurethral resection of the tumor. Histological examination and immunohistochemical staining showed a granular cell tumor (GCT). There were no features suggesting a malignant phenotype. On follow-up, the patient has remained free of bladder recurrence. We herein report this rare case of a GCT of the urinary bladder and review the literature.

How to cite this article:
Guntaka AK, Koti K, Prasad Babu B, Mutyala AK, Avuthu S. Granular cell tumor of urinary bladder in adult female: A rare case report.J Sci Soc 2018;45:143-146

How to cite this URL:
Guntaka AK, Koti K, Prasad Babu B, Mutyala AK, Avuthu S. Granular cell tumor of urinary bladder in adult female: A rare case report. J Sci Soc [serial online] 2018 [cited 2020 Sep 19 ];45:143-146
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Full Text


Granular cell tumors (GCTs) were first described by Abrikossoff in 1926.[1] GCTs are rare soft tissue tumors, which are usually benign. Since then, however, the histogenesis of GCT has been a matter of serious controversy. This tumor most commonly arises from the head and neck region, especially the tongue. Bladder and other genitourinary organs are uncommon localizations for GCTs. Only 17 cases of GCTs of bladder origin have been reported to date, and only two of them were malignant.

 Case Report

A 47-year-old female presented to our hospital with dysuria and vague suprapubic discomfort of 3 months duration. Blood tests, urinalysis, urine cultures, ultrasonography (USG), abdomen/pelvis computerized tomography (CT) scan imaging, and cystoscopic examinations were performed. Urine analysis demonstrated the presence of few pus cells. Urine culture was negative for bacterial growth. USG and CT images showed an circumferential tumor approximately 2 cm × 2 cm in diameter that was located supratrigonal and extended to the posterior wall of the bladder [Figure 1]a and [Figure 1]b. Cystoscopic examination revealed a nodular mass that was approximately 2 cm × 2 cm in diameter localized supratrigonal and extended to the posterior wall of the bladder, protruding into the lumen [Figure 2]. The tumor was removed by transurethral resection. Macroscopically, the neoplasm was 1.8 cm × 1.7 cm in diameter, soft, and white-cream colored. Microscopically, there were cohesive groups of cells in the lobules that were divided by fibrous septae. On hematoxylin and eosin (H and E) at ×200, transurethral resection of a bladder tumor showed transitional lining [Figure 3]. On H and E at ×400, ovoid-to-spindled cells with eoisnophilic granular cytoplasm were observed [Figure 4]. There were no features of malignancy such as necrosis, high mitotic activity, spindling of tumor cells or nuclei with large nucleoli in the resected tumor. There was no evidence of muscle invasion. Immunohistochemical staining revealed diffuse cytoplasmic staining with neuron-specific enolase [Figure 5] and S-100 protein [Figure 6]. These data supported the diagnosis of GCT.{Figure 1}{Figure 2}{Figure 3}{Figure 4}{Figure 5}{Figure 6}


GCTs mostly arise in the upper part of the human body, with approximately two thirds presenting themselves in the head and neck region.[2],[3] Therefore, such a lesion in the urinary bladder is a very uncommon and rare entity with only 16 reported cases in the literature.[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9] The tumor shows a slight predominance in females, most often occurring between the ages of 30–60 years;[10] nevertheless, children affected by this neoplasm have also been reported.[6] Symptoms vary regarding the specific location – tumors situated in the urinary bladder frequently cause chronic hematuria, which may lead to severe decrease of hemoglobin and blood pressure. Other less common signs of disease include dysuria, incontinence, and abdominal pain.[4],[6],[8]

The term myoblastoma was first introduced in 1926 by Abrikossoff, who postulated the tumor as being derived from striated muscle cells as a regenerative process after injury to the tissue.[1] Up to now, based on histochemical and ultrastructural findings, three additional theories concerning the histogenesis of GCTs have been discussed:[10] histogenetic origin with histiocytes as the underlying cell population; multicentric origin; and the widely favored neurogenic histogenesis which postulates the derivation from Schwann cells.[11],[12] However, the overall histogenesis is still poorly understood, and although many authors favor a neurogenic origin, either from Schwann cells or modified cells of the neural crest, analysis has failed to identify the direct transition from a Schwann cell to myoblastoma.[13],[14] Histologically, GCTs of all anatomic sites share the same characteristics – they consist of polygonal cells with highly granular cytoplasm with fine eosinophilic granules and scattered larger droplets.[13] There often exists a secondary epithelial hyperplasia if the tumor appears near an epithelial surface.[8]

Granular cells are not unique to GCTs as cytoplasmic granularity typical of GCT (both benign and malignant) has been observed in neoplastic and in nonneoplastic conditions, such as ameloblastoma,[15] ameloblastic fibroma,[16],[17] severed nerves undergoing Wallerian degeneration,[18] traumatized muscle,[19] leiomyosarcoma,[12] angiosarcoma, and appendiceal granular cell lesions.

Benign and malignant GCT could be similar in histological appearance. Clinical features such as rapid growth, presence of metastases, and local recurrence generally indicate the tumor to be malignant. Microscopic features that favor a diagnosis of malignancy include cellular growth in sheets and clusters with invasion, nuclear hyperchromasia, presence of necrosis, and pleomorphism. Malignant GCTs tend to be slightly more cellular with smaller cells assuming spindle cell morphology. It has been noted that cellular variability or pleomorphism alone is not always a reliable diagnostic criterion. Other features, especially when seen in combination such as necrosis and large vesicular nuclei with large nucleoli and high MIB-1 values, favor malignancy.


Since GCTs arising in the urinary bladder is very rare, careful histological examination should be performed to rule out a more malignant variant of the tumor, thus providing the patient with the best treatment. Transurethral resection is sufficient for most cases. In recent years, immunohistochemical staining has provided a helpful diagnostic tool to distinguish GCTs from various other entities; nevertheless, because of its rarity, diagnosis still may be challenging.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form the patient(s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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