Pathology of Small Cell Carcinoma of the Lung

Semin Oncol. 2003 Feb;30(1):3-8. doi: 10.1053/sonc.2003.50015.


Small cell carcinoma of the lung is one of the major subtypes of primary lung cancer. It is a highly aggressive lethal neuroendocrine carcinoma. It is closely related to other neuroendocrine carcinomas of the lung, including carcinoid, atypical carcinoid, and large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma. This article discusses the classification of small cell carcinoma of the lung, identifies its cytologic and histologic characteristics, and places it in context with the other neuroendocrine carcinomas of the lung.

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / classification
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / pathology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lung Neoplasms / classification
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*