"Wild type" GIST: Clinicopathological features and clinical practice

Pathol Int. 2016 Aug;66(8):431-7. doi: 10.1111/pin.12431. Epub 2016 Jul 18.


Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) is a mesenchymal tumor of the gastrointestinal tract. Mutation of KIT and PDGFRA genes is implicated in the tumorigenesis. Approximately 10% of GISTs do not harbor mutation of these genes, and they are designated as "wild type" GIST. They are classified into succinate dehydrogenase (SDH)-deficient and non-SDH-deficient groups. SDH-deficient group includes Carney triad and Carney Stratakis syndrome. The patients are young women. Tumors occur in the antrum of the stomach, and tumor cells are epithelioid. Lymph node metastasis is frequent. The non-SDH-deficient group includes neurofibromatosis (NF) type 1 and GISTs with mutations of BRAF, KRAS, and PIK3CA and with the ETV6-NTRK3 fusion gene. GIST in NF occurs in the small intestine, and tumor cells are spindle shaped. GIST with BRAF mutation arises in the small intestine. Attention to the age, gender, family history and other neoplasms may raise the prediction of syndromic disease. Location of the tumor, morphology, and pleomorphism of the tumor cells are further informative. Lymphovascular invasion should be carefully evaluated. The determination of KIT expression is essential for the diagnosis. When wild type GIST is suspected, intensive genetic analysis is required. Further, a careful and long-time observation is recommended.

Keywords: BRAF; Carney Stratakis syndrome; Carney triad; ETV6-NTRK3; Gastrointestinal stromal tumor; KRAS; Neurofibromatosis; PIK3CA; Succinate dehydrogenase.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors / classification*
  • Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors / genetics*
  • Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged