The giant cell tumor of tendon sheath (GCTTS) is the most common benign neoplasm in the hand after the ganglion cyst. Several hypotheses were formulated about the etiological factors of these tumors, but still there is not a common opinion on etiology, prognostic factors and recurrence rate.
This article presents a review of literature of the last 15 years about GCTTS to assess the demographic, clinical and histological profile. We compared the information obtained from literature with our experience of 64 cases between 2000 and 2012. Our study showed similar results to those reported in literature, except for the recurrence rate: only 3 cases (4.7%) of 64 patients reported recurrence (versus about 15% on average in literature). Among the various possible factors that predispose to recurrence, it is necessary that the surgeon ensures complete excision of the tumor and removal of any residual satellite nodules.
Although the marginal excision is the treatment of choice, it is often difficult to perform due to for the location and the strict adherence of the tumor to the tendon or neurovascular bundles.
We used in all cases a magnifying loupe to help a careful research of satellite lesions and to respect surrounding structures.