GRM1 Immunohistochemistry Distinguishes Chondromyxoid Fibroma From its Histologic Mimics

Am J Surg Pathol. 2022 Oct 1;46(10):1407-1414. doi: 10.1097/PAS.0000000000001921. Epub 2022 Jun 1.


Chondromyxoid fibroma (CMF) is a rare benign bone neoplasm that manifests histologically as a lobular proliferation of stellate to spindle-shaped cells in a myxoid background, exhibiting morphologic overlap with other cartilaginous and myxoid tumors of bone. CMF is characterized by recurrent genetic rearrangements that place the glutamate receptor gene GRM1 under the regulatory control of a constitutively active promoter, leading to increased gene expression. Here, we explore the diagnostic utility of GRM1 immunohistochemistry as a surrogate marker for GRM1 rearrangement using a commercially available monoclonal antibody in a study of 230 tumors, including 30 CMF cases represented by 35 specimens. GRM1 was positive by immunohistochemistry in 97% of CMF specimens (34/35), exhibiting moderate to strong staining in more than 50% of neoplastic cells; staining was diffuse (>95% of cells) in 25 specimens (71%). Among the 9 CMF specimens with documented exposure to acid decalcification, 4 (44%) exhibited diffuse immunoreactivity (>95%) for GRM1, whereas all 15 CMF specimens (100%) with lack of exposure to decalcification reagents were diffusely immunoreactive ( P =0.003). High GRM1 expression at the RNA level was previously observed by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction in 9 CMF cases that were also positive by immunohistochemistry; low GRM1 expression was observed by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction in the single case of CMF that was negative by immunohistochemistry. GRM1 immunohistochemistry was negative (<5%) in histologic mimics of CMF, including conventional chondrosarcoma, enchondroma, chondroblastoma, clear cell chondrosarcoma, giant cell tumor of the bone, fibrous dysplasia, chondroblastic osteosarcoma, myoepithelial tumor, primary aneurysmal bone cyst, brown tumor, phosphaturic mesenchymal tumor, CMF-like osteosarcoma, and extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma. These results indicate that GRM1 immunohistochemistry may have utility in distinguishing CMF from its histologic mimics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Bone Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Bone Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Chondrosarcoma* / pathology
  • Fibroma* / diagnosis
  • Fibroma* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Osteosarcoma*
  • RNA


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • RNA