Peripheral giant-cell granuloma

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Peripheral giant-cell granuloma
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 K06.8
ICD-9-CM 523.8
DiseasesDB 30735
MeSH D006101

Peripheral giant-cell granuloma (PGCG) is an oral pathologic condition that appears in the mouth as an overgrowth of tissue due to irritation or trauma. Because of its overwhelming incidence on the gingiva, the condition is associated with two other diseases, though not because they occur together. Instead, the three are associated with each other because they appear frequently on gingiva: pyogenic granuloma and peripheral ossifying fibroma. Because of its similar microscopic appearance to the bony lesions called central giant-cell granulomas, peripheral giant-cell granulomas are considered by some researchers to be a soft tissue equivalent.

The appearance of peripheral giant-cell granulomas is similar to pyogenic granulomas. The color ranges from red to bluish-purple, but is usually more blue in comparison to pyogenic granulomas. It can be sessile or pedunculated with the size usually being less than 2 cm.

There is a gender difference with 60% of the disease occurring in females. The prevalence of peripheral giant-cell granulomas is highest around 50 - 60 years of age. It appears only on the gingiva or on an edentulous (without teeth) alveolar ridge. It is more often found in the mandible rather than the maxilla but can be found in either anterior or posterior areas. The underlying alveolar bone can be destroyed, leaving a unique appearance referred to as "cupping resorption" or "saucerization".


Peripheral giant-cell granulomas appear microscopically as a large number of multinucleated giant cells, which can have up to dozens of nuclei. Additionally, there are mesenchymal cells that are ovoid and spindle-shaped. Near the borders of the lesion, deposits of hemosiderin and hemorrhage is often found. In 50% of cases, ulcerations are present.


Treatment usually involves surgical removal of the lesion down to the bone. If there are any adjacent teeth, they are cleaned thoroughly with scaling and root planing (SRP) to remove any possible source of irritation. Recurrence is around 10%.


  • Kahn, Michael A. Basic Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. Volume 1. 2001.