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WHO Classification of Tumours
Diffuse-type giant cell tumor
Connective, subcutaneous and other soft tissues


Diffuse-type giant cell tumour is a locally aggressive, diffusely infiltrating tumour arising in the tendon sheath. It is histologically characterized by the presence of synovial-like mononuclear cells, hemosiderin-laden macrophages, foam cells, inflammatory cells and, in most cases, multinucleated osteoclast-like giant cells. Intraarticular lesions arise predominantly in the knee (75% of cases), followed by the hip, ankle, elbow and shoulder; extraarticular lesions are most commonly found in the knee region, thigh and foot. The tumours are usually large (often >5cm), ill-defined and infiltrative masses and grow as diffuse, expansile sheets. Haemorrhagic joint effusions and cystic lesions in the adjacent bone are common.
Diffuse-type giant cell tumours predominantly affect young adults (<40 years of age) and show a slight predilection for females. The tumours recur in up to 50% of cases, but they generally do not metastasize. Treatment of choice is wide surgical excision

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Fletcher CDM, Unni KK, Mertens F (Eds.)
World Health Organization Classification of Tumours. Pathology and Genetics of Tumours of Soft Tissue and Bone.
3rd Edition
IARC Press: Lyon 2002