Succinate Dehydrogenase-Deficient Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors

Ahmad Ibrahim, Shefali Chopra
Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine 2019 June 6
Succinate dehydrogenase (SDH)-deficient gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) is a subset of wild-type GIST that constitutes approximately 10% of gastric GISTs. SDH-mutated GISTs lack mutations in the proto-oncogene receptor tyrosine kinase (also known as KIT, c-KIT, or CD117) or platelet-derived growth factor receptor α (PDGFR-α). These tumors have female predilection, affect children and young adults, and have a spectrum of behavior from indolent to progressive. These tumors have characteristic morphologic features including multinodular architecture, multiple tumors, lymphovascular involvement, and occasional lymph node metastasis. They can be seen in patients with Carney triad or Carney-Stratakis syndrome. Although a mutation in any one of the SDH subunits can be pathogenic, deficiency of a single subunit leads to loss of detectable SDH subunit B by immunohistochemistry, enabling a convenient, tissue-based screening method. The prognosis and the clinical course of these tumors is different from that of KIT- or PDGFR-α-mutated GISTs. Surgical management is considered the main line of treatment. SDH-mutated GISTs do not respond well to the common targeted therapy, with no objective tumor response to imatinib. The role of the pathologist in diagnosing these cases is imperative in management and subsequent follow-up.


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