The aim of our retrospective study was to evaluate the clinicopathological features associated with distant metastasis from small cell lung cancer (SCLC). We reviewed patients diagnosed with SCLC metastasis at the time of presentation between 1999 and 2010. Among the consecutive 251 SCLC patients diagnosed, 152 (60.6%) patients had distant metastasis, of which 20.3, 18.3, 15.5, 10.0 and 6.0% of patients had liver, bone, brain, lung and adrenal gland metastasis, respectively. In a multivariate analysis using Cox's proportional hazards model, we identified that liver, bone and brain metastasis as well as the presence of pleural and/or pericardial fluids were unfavorable prognostic factors. However, lung, adrenal gland and extrathoracic lymph node metastasis were not statistically significant prognostic factors. With regard to the treatment of SCLC patients, particularly those with liver, bone and brain metastasis or pleural and/or pericardial fluids, we should take the metastasizing organs into consideration.