Lung tumor
Other carcinoma
Metastatic tumors to lung

Author: Deepali Jain, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 27 December 2016, last major update September 2012

Copyright: (c) 2003-2016,, Inc.

PubMed Search: metastatic tumors to lung
Cite this page: Metastastic tumors to lung. website. Accessed January 19th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Lung is a common site of metastases - usually multiple, bilateral, sharply outlined, rapidly growing, more pleomorphic and necrotic than lung primaries, negative for TTF1
  • May appear as multiple discrete nodules in periphery of lung, or as lymphangitis carcinomatosa (peribronchial and perivascular patterns via lymphatics)
  • Rarely appear as intralymphatic microscopic foci that cause pulmonary hypertension
  • Note: metastases can also be from other lung primaries (Am J Surg Pathol 2009;33:1752)
Patterns associated with specific primaries
  • Central cavitation: colonic adenocarcinoma, leiomyosarcoma, squamous cell carcinoma of upper aerodigestive tract
  • Intrabronchial masses: breast, colon, kidney
  • Lepidic pattern: colon, pancreas
  • Lymphangitis carcinomatosis: breast, choriocarcinoma, pancreas, prostate, stomach
  • Nodular metastases: breast, GI, kidney, melanoma., sarcoma
  • Tumor emboli: breast, choriocarcinoma, liver, stomach
Case reports
  • Excision of isolated nodules
Gross images

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Multiple tumor nodules

Microscopic (histologic) images

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Jaw: Ameloblastoma

Jaw: Ameloblastoma - left: CK AE1; right: p63

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Bladder, urothelial carcinoma

Breast, invasive ductal carcinoma

Chondrosarcoma, dedifferentiated

Colon: adenocarcinoma

Kidney: renal cell carcinoma

Liver: hepatocellular carcinoma

Oropharyngeal carcinoma

Pancreas: adenocarcinoma

Prostate: adenocarcinoma

Testis: choriocarcinoma

Virtual slides

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Metastatic adenocarcinoma

Metastatic small cell carcinoma

Positive stains