The utility of intraoperative impression smear cytology of intracranial granular cell tumors: Three cases

Hilary A. Levitin, Kari D. Foss, Devon W. Hague, Sara L. Connolly, Miranda Vieson, Kathryn L. Wycislo, Stephane Lezmi, Mathew C. Lovett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two adult male dogs (a 7-year-old shorthaired Chihuahua and 14-year-old Shih Tzu) and one adult female dog (a 9-year-old Maltese) presented for evaluation of new-onset seizure activity. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain demonstrated a large, poorly marginated T2-weighted hyperintense, and strong contrast enhancing extra-axial mass in each case. A surgical biopsy for histopathologic evaluation was elected in all cases, and intraoperative impression smears were successfully obtained. Intraoperative cytology identified a homogenous population of round to polygonal cells with central to eccentric nuclei, coarse chromatin, and variably amphophilic to eosinophilic granular cytoplasm. Cytologic findings led to a suspected diagnosis of granular cell tumor (GCT) in all cases. Histopathologic review identified a densely cellular, unencapsulated neoplastic mass comprised of sheets of large round to polygonal cells with abundant eosinophilic cytoplasm containing numerous eosinophilic intracytoplasmic granules, confirming the diagnosis of GCT in all cases. The cases reported here are unique in that they reveal an accurate intraoperative cytologic diagnosis of a rare canine central nervous system neoplasm. Intraoperative cytology of the intracranial masses could provide clinicians with important and quick diagnostic and prognostic information; therefore, expediting decisions made intraoperatively. Further research is warranted to determine the diagnostic accuracy of intraoperative cytology for neoplasia in veterinary patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)282-286
Number of pages5
JournalVeterinary Clinical Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • brain
  • canine
  • granular cell tumor
  • impression
  • neoplasia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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