Esophageal Granular Cell Tumor: An Uncommon Cause of Dysphagia


North Florida


Osceola Regional Medical Center

Document Type

Case Report

Publication Date



case report, dysphagia, esophagus, granular cell tumor, histopathology


Digestive System Diseases | Internal Medicine | Neoplasms


Granular cell tumors (GCTs) are rare, typically benign, solitary neoplasms that can arise throughout the body, with reports of cases in the tongue, esophagus, colon, skin, vulva, and skeletal muscle, among others. Although GCTs are usually asymptomatic, esophageal GCTs can grow large enough to cause dysphagia. When developing the differential diagnosis for dysphagia, a broad consideration includes routine etiologies such as esophageal strictures, eosinophilic esophagitis, carcinoma, webs and rings, achalasia, and motility disorders, but GCTs may not readily come to mind. Due to their scarcity, this case report is presented to raise awareness of esophageal GCTs and emphasize key goals for diagnosing and managing this uncommon yet treatable cause of dysphagia. This case report details the clinical course of a patient presenting with a chief complaint of difficulty swallowing that was found to be caused by a subepithelial esophageal tumor discovered with esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) and endoscopic ultrasound (EUS). Histopathological studies paired with immunohistochemical investigations of a tissue biopsy confirmed the etiology of the offending esophageal mass to be a GCT. The patient's dysphagia resolved after endoscopic mucosal resection of the GCT, and follow-up evaluations have remained negative for recurrence. This case highlights the esophageal GCT as an uncommon source of dysphagia and the need for EGD and EUS evaluations of subepithelial esophageal lesions accompanied by histopathological analysis for a definitive diagnosis of GCT.

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