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Glomus cells with discrete nuclei arranged in sheets and cords comprise the glomus cancer

Correspondence to Author:  Subbha Raj, 

Consultant Histpathologist, AB Diagnostics, A-1, Ring Road, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi, India.


Also known as glomangioma, glomangiomyoma, or glomangiomatosis, a glomus tumour is a benign, perivascular hamartoma that develops from the glomus apparatus or a mesenchymal neoplasm that is essentially made up of modified smooth muscle cells. Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) bi-allelic inactivation can result in glomerus tumours that develop concurrently with the NF1 gene. Moreover, the RAS-MAPK pathway is activated when neurofibromin in glomus cells is decimated. There is a subungual, gradually progressive, slightly tinged, bluish-red papule that exhibits the classic triad of symptoms: localised sensitivity, pain when exposed to cold, and intense pain with mild trauma. Morphological analysis reveals a blend of smooth muscle cells, glomus cells, and prominent vascular features. The spheroid nuclei are punched out and surrounded by minimal cytoplasm. The stroma is amphophilic to eosinophilic, and the capillary-sized vasculature is circumscribed by branching.
Keywords :
Glomus Tumour; Lesions; Spinal Canal; Tumefaction.

Introduction:  A rare type of benign perivascular hamartoma that arises from the glomus apparatus is called a glomus tumour. Glomus bodies make up the morphological composition of glomus tumours, which are typically less than 1 cm in size. Glomus bodies are typically found in efferent veins, arterioles, and anastomotic blood vessels. Modified glomus cells, which are specialised smooth muscle cells acting as chemoreceptors, give rise to glomus tumours. Glomus cells typically control vascular outflow in capillaries in response to internal and external temperature changes [1]. The glomus tumour is hypothesised to be a mesenchymal neoplasm primarily composed of smooth muscle cells that have undergone modification and arise from the glomus body.The majority of peripheral glomus tumours are benign, present with severe pain and tenderness, develop gradually, and can take time to detect because they are small. The rare malignant glomus tumour is deep, visceral, and massive, measuring more than 2 cm. An enormous intravenous glomus tumour may also develop. Glomagiosarcoma is another name for malignant glomus tumours [1,2]. Depending on its particular shape, glomus tumours may also be called glomangiomas, glomangiomyomas, or glomangiomatosis. Nonetheless, misnomers pertaining to specific sites, as glomus faciale, glomus jugulare, glomus tympanicum, or glomus vagale, are fundamentally suggestive of paragangliomas. The term “glomangiopericytoma” refers to a glomus tumour with a noticeable hemangiopericytic vasculature. However, the aforementioned tumours are not the same as sinonasal glomangiopericytoma or pericytic neoplasm, which are identified at particular locations [1,2].

Disease Characteristics:   The globus tumour is a benign tumour that has an uncommonly dangerous form. Glomus tumours typically account for less than 2% of soft tissue neoplasms, with an estimated 1.6% of cases. Glomus tumours typically develop in adults between the ages of 20 and 40, peaking in the third or fifth decade and reflecting a corresponding gender predisposition. However, the subungual lesion shows a 3:1 ratio of female to male, indicating a preponderance of females. The spinal canal has never been implicated before, and glomus tumours can cause neurological symptoms that are so strong that they affect the spinal cord and nerve roots. Glomus tumours are often described as microscopic lesions on the hand or other distal extremities, particularly in the subungual area where glomus bodies are concentrated. Furthermore, Numerous locations, including the lung, stomach, pancreas, liver, gastrointestinal tract, and genitourinary tract, can develop glomus tumours [2, 3]. A malignant glomus tumour is identified by certain morphological characteristics, including abnormal mitotic figures, deep-seated tumefaction, and a tumour size greater than 2 cm, with increased neoplasia located in the paravertebral area or thoracic cavity. Benign or atypical tumour tumefaction may be accompanied by vertebral dislocation, tumour expansion into the neighbouring spinal canal through an enlarged intervertebral foramen, and sporadic back discomfort. Severe clinical symptoms result from the tumor’s ongoing progression. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) provides an example of spinal cord compression

Disease Pathogenesis:   Biallelic inactivation of the Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) gene is typically the cause of glomerus tumours that express the NF1 gene concurrently. Moreover, the RAS-MAPK pathway is activated when neurofibromin in glomus cells is decimated. Mutations in the glomulin gene, which are frequently expressed in vascular smooth muscle cells, cause familial glomus tumours, which exhibit glomu-venous malformation [3, 4]. Certain cases may exhibit co-occurring genomic translocation and ensuing oncogenic NOTCH pathway activation, primarily due to translocation within the MIR143 promoter region. The glomus tumour is a specialised arteriovenous anastomotic formation that regulates heat within cutaneous surfaces. It is commonly derived from the Sucquet-Hoyer canal of the glomus body, and is identified by a layered circumscription of epithelioid glomus cells that are immune reactive to Smooth Muscle Antigen (SMA). In order to preserve body heat and control temperature, cold temperatures guarantee the relaxation of glomus cells in addition to patent vascular anastomosis, which reroutes vascular outflow within coherent capillary networks.
Tumefaction progresses gradually and presents with a subungual, bluish-red, slightly tinged papule along with the traditional triad of symptoms: localised sensitivity, pain when exposed to cold, and severe pain with mild trauma. A glomus tumour can be accurately identified by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) if the clinical symptoms are relevant. A glomus tumour is primarily a cutaneous lesion that is often found on the subungual area of the finger, though it can occur anywhere. While glomus tumours can occur anywhere, the fingers (27%) and upper extremities (62%) are the most commonly implicated sites due to the prevalence of subungual lesions. The trunk wall (11%), internal locations (11%), lower extremities (9%), or head and neck (7%), are the adjacent sites that define glomus tumours. Unlike benign tumours, atypical and malignant types of glomus tumours are often deep-seated

Histological Elucidation:   The single tumour is identified as a distinct, protruding, open, reddish-colored, and pigmented mass that contains small nerve fibres. The majority of superficial lesions have a size of less than 1.0 cm. An irregular, nodular, and hemorrhagic tumefaction is visible on the cut surface. Upon fine needle aspiration, there are foci of bleeding, sporadic inflammatory cells, and cohesive clusters and aggregates of round, uniform cells with little cytoplasm mixed in [4,5]. There are also scattered, amorphous, magenta-colored ground substance. A morphological combination of smooth muscle cells, glomus cells, and coherent vascular elements can be seen in glomus tumours. The cellular component has capillary-sized, branching vasculature encircling spheroid, punched-out nuclei surrounded by an amphophilic to eosinophilic stroma. Examples of this type of cell are diverse, spheroidal cells with individual, regular, round to ovoid nuclei that lack significant nuclear pleomorphism [4,5]. Atypical mitotic figures in conjunction with metastasis, observed in as many as 40% of cases, or considerable nuclear atypia and concomitant mitotic activity are characteristics of malignant metamorphoses of glomus tumours. Upon microscopic inspection, a well-defined nodule is observed, mostly consisting of smooth muscle cells, glomus cells, and coherent vasculature. The majority of cases (75%) are of the solid variety, in which the glomus tumour is primarily composed of glomus cells, insufficient vasculature, and few smooth muscle cells [5, 6]. An estimated 20% of cases are identified as glomangiomas, which are neoplasms with a mostly vascular component. An estimated 5% of patients have glomangiomyoma, which is defined as a cancer having a significant smooth muscle cell and vascular component.

Immune Histochemical Elucidation:   The smooth muscle actin (SMA), muscle specific actin (MSA), CD34, calponin, h-caldesmon, and collagen type IV elicit strong immunological responses from globus tumours, while cytokeratin and S100 protein do not elicit strong immune responses. The vascular component is highlighted by CD34 immune staining. Ki-67 proliferation index is typically less than lessthan 5% and is visible in about 2% of neoplasms[6, 7]. The globus tumour exhibits a broad immune response to vimentin (100%), smooth muscle actin (99%), muscle-specific actin (95%), h-caldesmon (87%), and calponin 80%, while the immune response to CD34 is usually localised (32–53%). Type IV collagen and 91% of pericellular laminin are reactive to the immune system [6, 7]. The cytokeratin, CD31, S100 protein, CD68, CD57, Human Melanoma Black antigen 45 (HMB-45), CD117, desmin, chromogranin, synaptophysin, CD20, CD45, and Wilms’ tumour gene 1

The clinical presentation might vary and two hundredth stay well. Most patients gift with imprecise symptoms like early repletion, abdominal pain, and weight loss. Another common symptom could also be injury that is said to erosion of the neoplasm into the canal lumen. we tend to gift a case of extra-gastrointestinal stromal neoplasm in viral hepatitis patient that was ab initio misdiagnosed as pathology and later treated with Imatinib once getting adequate biomarkers. consent was obtained from the patient.

Investigative Assay:   Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a useful tool for localising glomus tumours to determine their extent before choosing the best surgical course of action. A well-defined mass can be seen on T1 weighted images, which appear dark, and on T2 or T1 post gadolinium fat saturation, which shows a bright, contrast-enhancing image [6, 8]. When using Magnetic Resonance (MR) angiography, there is a significant enhancement in the arterial phase and a relevant tumour blush that becomes more pronounced, particularly in the delayed phase. An opaque, hypoechoic mass with potential bone erosion is seen on ultrasonography. Attenuation of the overlying cortical bone can be seen on radiographic examination, especially in subungual tumours.

The smooth muscle actin (SMA), muscle specific actin (MSA), CD34, calponin, h-caldesmon, and collagen type IV elicit strong immunological responses from globus tumours, while cytokeratin and S100 protein do not elicit strong immune responses. The glomus tumour needs to be separated from angioleiomyoma, dermal nevus, nodular hidradenoma, eccrine spiradenoma, and myopericytoma. The diagnosis of the tumour can be made using plain X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and magnetic resonance angiography (MR). A poor prognosis is linked to characteristics like deep-seated tumefaction, magnitude of approximately >2 cm, atypical mitotic figures, necrosis, mitotic figures greater than >5 per 50 high power fields, or concomitance of enhanced nuclear grade with mitotic activity. A thorough surgical excision can be an appropriate treatment for a benign glomus tumour, which is amenable to simple observation.


Subbha Raj. Glomus cells with discrete nuclei arranged in sheets and cords comprise the glomus cancer. The Journal of Clinical Microbiology 2024.

Journal Info

  • Journal Name: The Journal of Clinical Microbiology
  • Impact Factor: 1.803*
  • ISSN: ISSN 2995-8539
  • DOI: 10.52338/Tjocmb
  • Short Name: TJOCMB
  • Acceptance rate: 55%
  • Volume: 6 (2024)
  • Submission to acceptance: 25 days
  • Acceptance to publication: 10 days


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