Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GISTs) Differential Diagnoses

Updated: May 24, 2022
  • Author: Michael A Choti, MD, MBA, FACS; Chief Editor: N Joseph Espat, MD, MS, FACS  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

When evaluating patients with suspected GISTs, include the following conditions in the differential diagnosis:

  • Epithelioid hemangioendothelioma
  • Fibromatosis
  • Lymphoma
  • Metastatic melanoma
  • Schwannoma
  • Leiomyoma

The differential diagnosis for gastric stromal tumors includes benign lesions such as true leiomyoma, schwannoma, lipoma, ectopic pancreas, and sarcomas. [41] Other possible lesions include the much more common gastric adenocarcinoma and other rare submucosal malignant tumors such as lymphoma and carcinoid.

Not infrequently, patients with GISTs of the stomach present with a large mass in the epigastrium or left upper quadrant. In such cases, the differential diagnosis may include masses originating from other organs such as the liver, spleen, pancreas, left adrenal gland, or retroperitoneum.

Differential Diagnoses