Giant cell tumor of the larynx: a clinicopathologic series of eight cases and a review of the literature

Mod Pathol. 2001 Dec;14(12):1209-15. doi: 10.1038/modpathol.3880462.


True giant cell tumors of the larynx (GCTL) are quite rare, and only individual case reports are documented in the literature. Eight cases of GCTL were identified in the Otorhinolaryngic Pathology Tumor Registry between 1966 and 2000. There were 2 women and 6 men, ages 26 to 62 years (mean, 44.5 yrs). Patients presented with a palpable neck mass (n = 5), airway obstruction (n = 3), hoarseness (n = 3), and dysphagia (n = 2). All tumors involved the thyroid cartilage, a few with local extension. The mean tumor size was 4.1 cm. Histologically, the tumors showed no connection to the surface epithelium and arose in sites of ossification. The tumors had an expansile, infiltrative growth and consisted of numerous multinucleated osteoclast-like giant cells within a cellular stroma composed of plump, oval mononuclear cells. Of interest was that the nuclei of the giant cells were similar to the nuclei of the stromal cells. Treatment included biopsy only with adjuvant therapy (n = 2), local resection (n = 3), and total laryngectomy (n = 3). Follow-up showed 5 patients were alive without evidence of disease (mean follow-up, 6.9 yrs); 2 died of unrelated causes (mean survival, 22.2 yrs). No patients developed recurrences. GCTL are rare tumors that can cause significant airway obstruction. Complete surgical resection yields an excellent outcome without adjuvant therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Giant Cell Tumors / diagnostic imaging
  • Giant Cell Tumors / pathology*
  • Giant Cell Tumors / surgery
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Thyroid Cartilage / pathology
  • Treatment Outcome