The clinical features and survival outcomes differed between patients who had gastric gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) and those who had small intestinal GISTs, with the latter appearing to have worse clinical features and outcomes, a single-center, retrospective study found. The findings were recently published in Scientific Reports.

To compare clinical features and outcomes, the study researchers retrospectively identified patients with small intestinal GIST or gastric GIST who were registered in the gastrointestinal surgery unit of their hospital from January 2016 to December 2017. Overall, 43 patients with small intestinal GIST and 97 patients with gastric GIST were identified and enrolled in the study. Patient data on demographics, preoperative lab results, clinicopathological results, and surgical management were extracted from electronic medical records.

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The clinical features differed in several aspects between the two groups. Small intestinal GIST patients had more frequent GI bleeding (P =.022), advanced National Institutes of Health (NIH) category (P =.031), longer postoperative hospitalization time (P =.001), and lower thrombin time (P =.030) compared with patients with gastric GIST.

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As for outcome differences, patients with small intestinal GISTs had significantly worse relapse-free survival (P =.022) and cumulative survival (P=0.027) than patients with gastric GISTs. In addition, location of the GIST (P=0.022), GIST with GI bleeding (P=0.027), and NIH category (P =.031) were independently prognostic for worse relapse-free survival. Location of the GIST (P =.027) was the only independently prognostic variable for worse cumulative survival.

The study authors wrote that more GI bleeding, advanced NIH category, longer postoperative hospitalization time, and lower thrombin time “uniformly” indicated a worse outcome and prognosis. “In summary, we can conclude that small intestinal GISTs had a higher rate of aggressive features.”


Yang Z, Wang F, Liu S, and Guan W. Comparative clinical features and short-term outcomes of gastric and small intestinal gastrointestinal stromal tumours: A retrospective study. Sci Rep. 2019;9(1):10033.