Aims: We aimed to elucidate the clinicopathological and immunohistochemical features of leiomyosarcoma (LMS) of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Methods and results: We encountered seven cases of GI-LMS in the colon (n = 4), rectum (n = 1), jejunum (n = 1) and stomach (n = 1). They ranged from 1 to 25 cm (median, 8.5 cm) in size and had high mitotic counts (median 38 per 50 high-power fields). Morphologically, the tumours were composed mainly of spindle cells with eosinophilic cytoplasm and various degrees of nuclear atypia and pleomorphism. Immunohistochemically, the tumours were positive for α-smooth muscle actin (86%), muscle-specific actin (71%), desmin (86%), calponin (71%), h-caldesmon (57%) and smoothelin (71%). All were negative for KIT, CD34, protein kinase C theta and DOG1. Local recurrence and distant metastasis occurred in one and three patients, respectively. We then reviewed 55 cases of GI-LMS from the era following the recognition of gastrointestinal stromal tumours. Among 29 of 55 cases for whom follow-up information was available, the estimated 5-year overall survival rate was 51.6%; tumour size ≥5 cm was correlated significantly with shorter overall survival time (P = 0.0016), while mitotic count (≥50 or ≥100 per 50 high-power fields) proved to be no prognostic factor. Conclusions: GI-LMSs have distinctive clinicopathological and immunohistochemical features and exhibit aggressive biological behaviour.
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