Nasal cavity, paranasal sinuses, nasopharynx

Sinonasal carcinoma

Neuroendocrine carcinoma, including small cell carcinoma

Last author update: 1 November 2013
Last staff update: 22 October 2021

Copyright: 2004-2023,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Small cell carcinoma[TIAB] nasal

Rifat Mannan, M.B.B.S., M.D.
Songyang Yuan, M.D., Ph.D.
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Cite this page: Mannan R, Yuan S. Neuroendocrine carcinoma, including small cell carcinoma. website. Accessed April 2nd, 2023.
Definition / general
  • High grade neuroendocrine tumor, morphologically similar to those occurring in pulmonary or other extrapulmonary sites
  • Also known as small cell carcinoma, neuroendocrine type, small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma
  • Rare tumor, with no gender or racial predilection
  • Age range is from 26 - 77 years, with a mean age of 49 years
  • Commonly arises in nasal cavity, often extends into maxillary or ethmoid sinuses
  • Primary tumors of maxillary or ethmoid sinuses are less common
Clinical features
  • Epistaxis and nasal obstruction are common symptoms, followed by facial pain, palpable facial mass and exophthalmos
  • No known etiologic association
Prognostic factors
  • Aggressive tumor with poor prognosis and frequent local recurrence and distant metastasis despite multimodal therapy
Case reports
  • There are no specific management guidelines, due to rarity of the tumor
  • Surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy alone or in combination have been used with variable results
Clinical images

Images hosted on other servers:

Clinical presentation

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Sheets or ribbons of closely packed oval to spindle shaped cells with high nuclear cytoplasmic ratio, dense chromatin and inconspicuous nucleoli
  • Nuclear molding, mitoses, necrosis, angiolymphatic and perineural invasion are common
  • Rosettes may be seen
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Small round cells
with scant cytoplasm
and hyperchromatic



Sinonasal neuroendocrine carcinoma

Sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma

Positive stains
Additional references
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