Pathology and diagnosis of neuroendocrine tumors: lung neuroendocrine

Thorac Surg Clin. 2014 Aug;24(3):257-66. doi: 10.1016/j.thorsurg.2014.04.001.


Neuroendocrine (NE) tumors of the lung include a spectrum from low-grade typical carcinoid (TC) and intermediate-grade atypical carcinoid (AC) to high-grade large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (LCNEC) and small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC). Although NE lung tumors are frequently discussed together, as in this article, carcinoids are very different from high-grade SCLC and LCNEC. SCLC and LCNEC are found in heavy-smoking, older patients, whereas smoking is not strongly associated with carcinoid tumors. On a molecular level, SCLC and LCNEC have extensive genetic abnormalities, but there are few in TC and slightly more in AC.

Keywords: Atypical carcinoid; Carcinoid; Large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma; Lung; Neuroendocrine; Neuroendocrine cell hyperplasia; Small cell carcinoma; Typical carcinoid.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Large Cell / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / pathology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / pathology*