Giant cell tumor of tendon sheath: largest single series in children

Purushottam A Gholve, Harish S Hosalkar, Portia A Kreiger, John P Dormans
Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics 2007, 27 (1): 67-74
Giant cell tumors of tendon sheath (GCTTS) are rare in children. We hypothesized that GCTTS in children probably behave in a similar manner to the adult lesions, with regard to clinical features, imaging characteristics, histology, and recurrence rates after surgical excision. We retrospectively reviewed 29 children diagnosed and treated for GCTTS during a 16-year period and evaluated the above characteristics to compare these results with published data for adult patients. A telephone questionnaire survey was also conducted to assess the current symptoms and function, satisfaction with procedure, and incidence of recurrence. In children, we noted similar predilection for lesions in both upper and lower extremities. Most cases, 28 (96%) of 29, presented with a gradual enlarging soft tissue mass. Plain radiography demonstrated soft tissue swelling in 50% of cases. Magnetic resonance imaging features were noted to be variable, although low signal intensity on T1- and T2-weighted images was noted in most lesions. Incisional biopsy with intraoperative frozen section and histological evaluation was the gold standard for accurate diagnosis. We noted no recurrence at final follow-up in any of our cases. Twenty-two (75%) of these 29 patients had follow-up of more than 2 years, with no recurrence, and the remaining 7 had follow-up between 1 to 2 years, which may seemingly be adequate from perspective of expected time interval for early recurrences. Meticulous dissection and excision with appropriate use of magnifying surgical loupes are likely factors that may help to minimize the recurrence rate.

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