Pleomorphic carcinoma of lung

Pleomorphic carcinoma of the lung is a rare type of lung tumour. They are classified under sarcomatoid carcinomas of the lungs.

These tumours are thought to account for 0.1-0.4% of all lung malignancies.

Histologically, a pleomorphic carcinoma is defined as either 

At least 10% of the carcinoma should comprise spindle and/or giant cells for it to be classified as a pleomorphic carcinoma 

Associations

There is a recognised association with smoking.

There no published specific imaging features for this histological subtype. Most CT features are thought to be dependent on the epithelial component of the tumour 5.

The tumours can be either endobronchial (central) or peripheral (the latter location is considered commoner 1,7). They can frequently involve the pleural and/or chest wall. Larger tumours may show central low attenuation. Some publications suggest an upper lobe predilection 5. While many can be well defined, some can be lobulated, ill-defined or even spiculated 5.

A spindle cell histology is generally associated with a more aggressive clinical course 3-4. The presence of pleural invasion is associated with a much worse prognosis 7.

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Article Information

rID: 22594
System: Chest
Section: Pathology
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Pleomorphic carcinoma of lungs
  • Pleomorphic carcinoma of the lung
  • Pleomorphic carcinoma of the lungs
  • Pleomorphic pulmonary carcinoma
  • Pleomorphic pulmonary carcinomas

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