Large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma of the lung

Large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (LCNEC) of the lung is classified as a subtype of large cell carcinoma of the lung. It is also classified as a pulmonary neuroendocrine tumor.

The incidence peaks around the 6th decade 6. There is an increased male predilection 7. They are rare and may accounts for ∼3% of all lung cancers, although the proportion of lung cancers diagnosed as LCNEC may be be increasing 12.

Large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma of the lung are poorly differentiated and high-grade neuroendocrine tumors 10

They have neuroendocrine morphology, neuroendocrine differentiation on immunohistochemistry, often high mitotic rates (>10 mitoses/mm2) and non-small cell cytological features 12

As with other neuroendocrine cells of the lung, LCNECs arise from Kulchitsky cells of the bronchial mucosa 3.

There is a strong association with smoking 11.

CT features are non-specific. LCNECs, in general, tend to present as oval-to-round and well-demarcated masses with lobulated margins. Their size typically ranges from 2 to 5 cm. Internal calcification is uncommon (9-21%) 2,4,7. A slight peripheral predilection may be present 5. There can be homogeneous or inhomogeneous enhancement following contrast 1.

They tend to be aggressive high-grade tumors with a poor prognosis 6. The overall prognosis is thought to be between that of an atypical pulmonary carcinoid and small cell lung cancer 3.

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Article information

rID: 22427
System: Chest, Oncology
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • LCNECs lung
  • Undifferentiated large-cell carcinoma of the lung
  • Large cell neuroendocrine carcinomas
  • Large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma of the lungs
  • Large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma of lung
  • Large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (LCNEC)
  • LCNEC lung
  • Large cell neuroendocrine cell carcinoma of the lung
  • Large cell neuroendocrine cell carcinoma of lung

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