The purpose of the present review is to analyze the cytohistological and immunohistochemical characteristics of spindle-shaped mesenchymal gastrointestinal neoplams (MGNs), a group of unusual neoplastic conditions with different biological behavior. These tumors exhibit clinical pictures strictly related to the site of origin and dimensions, even if they appear generally with an intramural localization. This latter point may suggest an useful application of endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (EUS-FNA), mainly followed by the cell-block procedure (CBP) in the differential diagnostic approach. First of all, we discuss the most common entity of MGNs represented by gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs), analyzing the morphologic characteristics and stressing the strength of immunohistochemical algorithm for diagnostic purposes. Successively, we have reported the less common group of spindle-shaped MGNs comprehensive of those arising elsewhere the soft tissues, such as leiomyomas, leiomyosarcomas, schwannomas, inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor and intra-abdominal desmoid fibromatosis. Finally, very uncommon spindle-shaped MGNs, like clear cell, follicular dendritic cell, undifferentiated pleomorphic and radiation-induced sarcomas as well as spindle cell dedifferentiated liposarcomas, have been briefly mentioned.
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