Seven hundred forty seven cases of gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) in Koreans who were diagnosed between 2001 and 2002 were analyzed to evaluate their occurrence and their clinical, pathologic and immunohistochemical findings. The most frequent location of tumor was in the stomach (63%), followed by the small intestine (30%), the colorectum (5%), and the esophagus (2%). c-kit expression was found in 93.6% of the cases, while CD34, SMA and S-100 protein was positive in 80.1%, 28.2%, and 20.2%, respectively. c-kit positivity was high in the stomach (94.2%) and small intestine (94.6%), while it was relatively low in the colorectum (85.0%), and esophagus (81.2%). The positivity for CD34 was correlated with the higher risk of GISTs (p=0.04). Follow up of the patients showed that 58 primary GISTs patients died and 20 of these patients were recurrent or metastatic at the time of diagnosis. The pathologic diagnosis to predict the risk of aggressive behavior of GISTs was correlated with the numbers of tumor, clinical stage, epithelioid histologic type, cellularity, cellular atypia, necrosis, and mucosal invasion (p=0.00). GISTs with a poor prognosis were closely related to the clinical stage at presentation, the locations of the tumor, and the ages of the patients.
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