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Abrikossoff's tumor

Abrikossoff tumor, also called granular cell tumor, is a benign soft tissue neoplasm . It is located in most cases within the oral cavity , and more specifically, in the tongue. However, it may have other locations, such as the esophagus or breast, although they are very rare cases.

While there has been a lot of controversy surrounding its origin, it is now accepted that it is a schwannoma. Schwannomas are tumors that form at the expense of Schwan cells, the cells that produce myelin. These cells are located around the axons of peripheral neurons, giving rise to the myelin sheath. Its main function is to increase the conduction of electrical impulses.

The Abrikossoff tumor is a rare tumor, usually benign, of neural origin, which appears in 70% of the cases inside the oral cavity.


  • The Abrikossoff tumor is a very rare tumor. It represents something more than 0.02% of all tumors, which shows its low frequency.
  • It typically appears in the middle age of life , between 40 and 60 years. This does not mean that it can not occur in
  • Around 10% of cases are malignant , and 2% of these give distant metastases. When they occur, the most frequent sites are the lymph nodes and bones. The
  • Abrikossoff tumor is more common in

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Abrikossoff's tumor

Normally the Abrikossoff tumor presents as a small and consistent bundle (less than 2cm), which appear on the lingual surface. When they are benign, they grow very slowly.

In most cases, the Abrikossoff tumor appears covered with a rosy or whitish mucosal layer that can sometimes ulcerate. If this occurs, malignancy should be suspected. For the rest, it does not produce any kind of symptoms. Depending on the size it can be annoying when chewing

When can it be evil?

  • If the tumor ulcerates or bleeds.
  • When its size is greater than 4 cm.
  • In cases where the tumor has a rapid growth.
  • If the tumor reappears after it has been resected (removed).
  • If it is located “in depth”. (If it’s like a deep bump we can feel, but not “see”).


Abrikossoff's tumor

Through the exploration and biopsy of the lesion , which will allow a histological study of the tumor. The By means of immunohistochemical techniques, the reactivity of some of the proteins can be observed, thus demonstrating their neural origin.

Extension studies can also be performed using computerized axial tomography (

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Abrikossoff tumor treatment

The treatment of choice is always the total surgical resection of the tumor and the subsequent control and follow-up. The technique that has given the best results has been laser resection, which leaves the margins free. This is important in both benign and malignant tumors.

When the tumor is resected, a small strip of surrounding tissue should also be removed , the size of which will depend on the size of the tumor. In this way the risk of recurrence is minimized, since, if any tumor cell remained, it is eliminated when the margins are removed.

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Can it reappear?

Abrikossoff's tumor

Yes, if there is something that characterizes tumors (and the Abrikossoff tumor), they are recurrences or recurrences, although in these cases, it is rare. It may be due to the fact that in the first surgery the entire tumor was not removed, or else it was a malignant tumor.

The recurrence rate of this malignant variant is 15%, which is why monitoring and control of these patients is recommended.

Abrikossoff's tumor