Towards better understanding of giant cell granulomas of the oral cavity

J Clin Pathol. 2021 Aug;74(8):483-490. doi: 10.1136/jclinpath-2020-206858. Epub 2021 Apr 15.


Giant cell granulomas are enigmatic lesions of the oral cavity characterised by a peculiar combined proliferation of mononuclear and multinucleated giant cells in a mesenchymal stromal background. Central and peripheral giant cell granulomas may have similar pathogenesis and histology but differ in their location and biological behaviour. It is important to differentiate them from other giant cell lesions that can occur in the oral cavity, such as giant cell tumour of the bone, aneurysmal bone cyst, brown tumour of hyperparathyroidism, and giant cell lesions of Ramon syndrome, Noonan syndrome, neurofibromatosis and Jaffe-Campanacci syndrome. A recent insight into their molecular genetics and pathogenesis, with identification of KRAS, FGFR1 and TRPV4 mutations, allows for better diagnostic differentiation and opens the door to the use of pathway inhibitors in the treatment of recurrent or dysmorphic lesions. In this review, we provide an updated summary of the clinical and pathological features of oral cavity giant cell granulomas that help with their precise diagnosis and management.

Keywords: bone neoplasms; granuloma; oral; pathology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopsy
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Giant Cells / immunology
  • Giant Cells / pathology*
  • Granuloma, Giant Cell / genetics
  • Granuloma, Giant Cell / immunology
  • Granuloma, Giant Cell / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth / immunology
  • Mouth / pathology*
  • Mouth Diseases / genetics
  • Mouth Diseases / immunology
  • Mouth Diseases / pathology*
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Young Adult