Background/Aims: Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) is one of the most common types of submucosal tumors (SMTs). Because of GIST’s malignant potential, it is crucial to differentiate it from other SMTs. The present study aimed to identify characteristic endoscopic findings of GISTs in the small intestine. Methods: We reviewed the clinicopathological and endoscopic findings of 38 patients with endoscopically or surgically resected SMTs in the small intestine. SMTs were classified into GIST and non-GIST groups, and clinicopathological and endoscopic findings were compared between the 2 groups. Results: Fifteen patients had GIST and 23 patients had other types of SMTs in the small intestine. Comparison of the endoscopic findings between the 2 groups revealed that dilated vessels in the surrounding mucosa were significantly more in number in the GIST group than in the non-GIST group (P< 0.05). However, there were no other differences in endoscopic findings between the 2 groups. Among patients with GISTs, the presence of dilated vessels in the surrounding mucosa was not associated with bleeding risk, tumor size, or metastasis rate at diagnosis. Conclusions: Dilated vessels in the surrounding mucosa, identified during balloon-assisted endoscopy, may be a diagnostic indicator for GIST in the small intestine. However, its clinical significance should be further analyzed.
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