J Clin Pathol doi:10.1136/jclinpath-2012-201310
  • Review

Neuroendocrine tumours—challenges in the diagnosis and classification of pulmonary neuroendocrine tumours

  1. F B J M Thunnissen3
  1. 1Department of Pathology, Maasstad Hospital, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Pathology Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  3. 3Department of Pathology, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr M A den Bakker, Department of Pathology, Maasstad Ziekenhuis, PO Box 3100, Rotterdam 3007 AC, The Netherlands; bakkerma{at}, m.denbakker{at}
  • Received 6 March 2013
  • Revised 28 March 2013
  • Accepted 2 April 2013
  • Published Online First 17 May 2013


Pulmonary neuroendocrine (NE) proliferations are a diverse group of disorders which share distinct cytological, architectural and biosynthetic features. Tumours composed of NE cells are dispersed among different tumour categories in the WHO classification of tumours and as such do not conform to a singular group with regards to treatment and prognosis. This is reflected by the highly variable behaviour of NE proliferations, ranging from asymptomatic, for instance in diffuse idiopathic pulmonary NE cell hyperplasia and tumourlets, to highly malignant cancers such as small cell lung cancer and large cell NE carcinoma. In this review NE proliferations are described as distinct entities ranging from low grade lesions to high grade cancers. The differential diagnoses are considered with each of the entries. Finally, mention is made of tumours which may show some NE features.

Free sample
This recent issue is free to all users to allow everyone the opportunity to see the full scope and typical content of JCP.
View free sample issue >>

Don't forget to sign up for content alerts so you keep up to date with all the articles as they are published.

Navigate This Article