Gastric stromal tumors in Carney triad are different clinically, pathologically, and behaviorally from sporadic gastric gastrointestinal stromal tumors: findings in 104 cases

Am J Surg Pathol. 2010 Jan;34(1):53-64. doi: 10.1097/PAS.0b013e3181c20f4f.


Carney triad, as originally described in 1977, was the association of 3 tumors: gastric epithelioid leiomyosarcoma [later renamed gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST)], extra-adrenal paraganglioma, and pulmonary chondroma. The disorder affected mostly young women and was not familial. We studied the clinical and pathologic features of the gastric neoplasm in 104 patients with the syndrome. Most (88%) were young women (mean age, 22 y), and the usual presentation was gastric bleeding. The tumors, commonly antral-based (61%), were multifocal, and ranged from 0.2 to 18.0 cm in dimension. Most (86%) featured round and polygonal (epithelioid) cells. Metastasis occurred in 49 patients (47%): to gastric lymph nodes (29%), liver (25%), and peritoneum (13%). Immunopositivity was detected in the tumors tested as follows: KIT, 100%; CD34, 75%; PKCtheta, 21%; PDGFRA, 90%; and smooth muscle actin, 6%. Fourteen patients (13%) died of metastatic GIST at a mean age of 45 years (range, 30 to 69 y). Estimated 10 and 40-year survivals were 100% and 73%, respectively. Median survival time was 26.5 years (range, 16 to 60 y). There was no correlation between the National Institutes of Health tumor risk classification and the tumor behavior. Compared with sporadic gastric GISTs, the gastric stromal tumor in Carney triad showed distinctive features: female predilection, young patient age, epithelioid cell predominance, multifocality, frequent lymph node metastasis, serial tumor occurrence, and unpredictable behavior. Thus, the Carney triad gastric stromal tumor is different clinically, pathologically, and behaviorally from sporadic gastric GIST.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carney Complex / metabolism
  • Carney Complex / mortality
  • Carney Complex / pathology*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors / metabolism
  • Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors / mortality
  • Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult