Gastrointestinal stromal tumors of the jejunum and ileum: a clinicopathologic, immunohistochemical, and molecular genetic study of 906 cases before imatinib with long-term follow-up

Am J Surg Pathol. 2006 Apr;30(4):477-89. doi: 10.1097/00000478-200604000-00008.


Gastrointestinal (GI) stromal tumors (GISTs), the specific KIT- or PDFGRA-signaling driven mesenchymal tumors, are the most common mesenchymal tumors of the GI tract. This study analyzed 1091 tumors originally classified as smooth muscle tumors of the small intestine (including jejunum or ileum and excluding duodenum), and found that 906 (83%) of these were GISTs. The GIST patients had 55:45 male-to-female ratio with a median age of 59 years (range, 13-94 years). Only 0.6% of tumors occurred before the age of 21 years and 13.6% before the age of 40 years. The tumors varied from 0.3 to 40 cm (median, 7.0 cm) and most commonly presented with GI bleeding or acute abdomen; 18% were incidentally detected. Histologically, the tumors were relatively monotypic with spindle cell (86%), epithelioid (5%), or mixed patterns (9%). Skeinoid fibers were present in 44% of cases, and their presence was associated with a favorable course. Most epithelioid tumors were malignant, and this morphology sometimes emerged from less cellular and less mitotically active spindle cell tumors, suggesting that it represented a transformation. KIT was immunohistochemically detected in 98%, CD34 in 40%, smooth muscle actin in 34%, desmin in 0.2%, and S-100 protein in 14% of the tumors tested. Outcome was strongly dependent on tumor size and mitotic activity, with an overall 39% tumor-related mortality, twice that for gastric GISTs. Only <3% of tumors <5 cm and < or = 5 mitoses/50 HPF metastasized, whereas 86% of tumors >10 cm and >5 mitoses/50 HPF metastasized. In stark contrast to corresponding gastric tumors, tumors >10 cm with mitotic activity < or = 5/50 HPF and those < or = 5 cm with mitoses >5/50 HPF had a high metastatic rate (>50%); tumors >5 cm < or = 10 cm with low mitotic rate had a 24% metastatic rate. The median survival times of patients with low mitotic rate tumors who died of disease decreased by increasing tumor size. KIT exon 11 mutations were detected in 90 cases, exon 9 mutation in 17 cases, and exon 17 mutation in 1 case; the presence of mutation or mutation type was not prognostically significant. There were no PDGFRA exon 12 or 8 mutations. Systematic data on prognosis of small intestinal GISTs of various size and mitotic activity categories can be helpful in management and surveillance of patients with these tumors.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors / chemistry
  • Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors / genetics
  • Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Ileal Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Ileal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Ileal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Jejunal Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Jejunal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Jejunal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Male
  • Mesenchymoma / chemistry
  • Mesenchymoma / genetics
  • Mesenchymoma / secondary*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitosis
  • Mutation
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-kit / analysis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-kit / genetics


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-kit