Giant cell tumor of tendon sheath: A light and electron microscopic study

Isabella Galliani, G. Cassiani, A. Valmori, E. Falcieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A neoformation has been surgically withdrawn from third finger extensor tendon of the right hand of a 52 year male subject. Light (LM) and electron microscope (EM) observations from a number of tissue fragments allowed the identification of tumor nature, which appeared a giant cell tendon sheath. Moreover, some structural patterns have been described and compared to the previously reported cases. In areas of major cell density, parenchyma does not show lobular or gland-like organization; on the other hand, wide zones characterized by an amorphous matrix, progressively replacing collagen and containing elongated cells, are present. Giant multinucleated cells, mostly localized close to collagen bundles, can also be revealed. Unexpectedly, no foam cells appear and no phagocytized cell debris can be identified in giant multinucleated cells. Engulfed crystals are, differently, evidentiated by electron microscopy, both in mono- and multinucleated cell cytoplasm. Their electron density and their localization within cytoplasmic vacuoles suggest the presence of calcium. A correlation between giant cells and osteoclasts is then proposed. Multiple variously oriented centrioles support the possible mitotic genesis of multinucleated giant cells, which never show, on the other hand, fusion features. Siderosomes and residual bodies are also present. An unusual, diffuse thickening of nuclear lamina, only interrupted at nuclear pore level, is described and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-76
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Submicroscopic Cytology and Pathology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2000


  • Electron microscopy
  • Light microscopy
  • Multinucleated giant cells
  • Nuclear lamina
  • Tendon sheath tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Histology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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