Neuroendocrine neoplasms of the sinonasal region

Head Neck. 2016 Apr:38 Suppl 1:E2259-66. doi: 10.1002/hed.24152. Epub 2015 Jul 18.


Neuroendocrine neoplasms of the sinonasal region, which are relatively uncommon but clinically very important, are reviewed here in the light of current knowledge. Using a definition for neuroendocrine based on phenotypic, histologic, immunohistochemical, and electron microscopic features rather than histogenetic criteria, sinonasal neuroendocrine carcinomas are examined with a particular emphasis on the small-cell and large-cell subtypes. This is followed by revisiting olfactory neuroblastoma because it is also a tumor that shows a neuroendocrine phenotype. Kadish clinical and Hyams histologic grading systems as prognosticators of olfactory neuroblastoma are also considered in detail. Finally, controversies regarding sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma as a neuroendocrine tumor are discussed and a possible relationship with high-grade olfactory neuroblastoma is explored. Genetic events and current management of these tumors are also outlined. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 38: E2259-E2266, 2016.

Keywords: immunohistochemistry; neuroendocrine neoplasms; olfactory neuroblastoma; sinonasal carcinoma; sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine / diagnosis*
  • Esthesioneuroblastoma, Olfactory / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Nasal Cavity / pathology
  • Nose Neoplasms / diagnosis*