Other carcinomas
Small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma

Authors: Komal Arora, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 22 August 2016, last major update March 2012

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

PubMed search: small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma[title] prostatic
Cite this page: Small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma. website. Accessed October 17th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Pure or combined with ordinary ductal adenocarcinoma
  • Diagnosis restricted to cases having either pure or mixed with an adenocarcinoma component, where the cells resemble small-cell carcinoma of the lung (and elsewhere) histologically
  • Serum PSA levels are often not elevated
  • May cause Cushings syndrome, syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion
  • Some have endocrine features
  • Very aggressive, cannot monitor with PSA (unreliable)
  • Survival usually less than 1 year (Arch Pathol Lab Med 1986;110:1041)
  • Rarely associated with limbic encephalitis (Mod Pathol 1999;12:814)
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Usually large number of apoptotic cells; otherwise resembles lung small cell carcinoma
  • Typical features of small cell carcinoma, including high mitotic rate, frequent apoptotic bodies, crush artifact and DNA encrustation of blood vessel walls (Azzopardi phenomenon) are present
Microscopic (histologic) images

Various images


Positive stains
Negative stains
Differential diagnosis
  • Large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma: extremely rare, described in case reports and in one small study; large and polygonal tumor cells with moderate to abundant cytoplasm, coarsely granular nuclear chromatin and prominent nucleoli (Mod Pathol 2006;19:1358)