Terminology and classification of neuroendocrine neoplasms of the larynx

Laryngoscope. 2011 Jun;121(6):1187-93. doi: 10.1002/lary.21790.


Objectives: To review the history and literature on neuroendocrine neoplasms of the larynx and discuss the terminology and classification of these tumors.

Study design: Contemporary review.

Methods: Published journal articles identified through PubMed and conference proceedings were reviewed.

Results: Neuroendocrine neoplasms of the larynx include both epithelial (carcinomas) and neural-type lesions (paragangliomas).The nomenclature of these tumors has changed quite a bit over time, but recently, clearer categories have emerged that are biologically meaningful. They can overlap clinically and histologically so that segregation into the clinically relevant subtypes can be difficult, but it is extremely important to do so as they have a wide range of behaviors going from benign to rapidly fatal.

Conclusions: Neuroendocrine neoplasms of the larynx can be clearly categorized into the five tumor types: typical carcinoid, atypical carcinoid, small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma, large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma, and paraganglioma. These have concrete biologic and clinical significance and clearly dictate patient treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoid Tumor / classification
  • Carcinoid Tumor / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine / classification*
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / classification
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / pathology
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Nucleus / pathology
  • Cytoplasm / pathology
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / classification*
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Paraganglioma / pathology
  • Terminology as Topic*