Peripheral pulmonary carcinoid tumor

Peripheral pulmonary carcinoid tumor refer to a subtype of pulmonary carcinoid tumors that arise within the periphery of the lung. They are considered less common than the more centrally-located bronchial carcinoid tumors

Many patients tend to be asymptomatic  2. Presentation with carcinoid syndrome is extremely rare 6

Peripheral pulmonary carcinoid tumors are considered a neuroendocrine tumor of the lung. They can be typical (well-differentiated - common) or atypical (more aggressive - uncommon). 

  • smoking: the rate of carcinoid tumors is similar between smokers and non-smokers, although there is an increased incidence of atypical subtype amongst smokers 5,6

Most are discovered as an incidental rounded solitary pulmonary nodule. The size at diagnosis can vary but is usually reported to be in the range of 10-30 mm 2. Many have a lobulated margin with an average Hounsfield value on postcontrast imaging of ~50 2. Imaging features are often non-specific and tissue diagnosis is essential in determining diagnosis.

Most peripheral carcinoid tumors tend to involve a subsegmental bronchus 2

May have a sensitivity of around 75% 7. Although most cases will show uptake on an 18-FDG PET, up to a quarter of false negative has been described 2

Usually avid and useful for diagnosis 8.

Some authors consider there as complex tumors as a whole which require a multidisciplinary approach and long-term follow-up 10.

See differentials for a solitary pulmonary nodule

Lung cancer
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Article information

rID: 20780
System: Chest, Oncology
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Peripheral pulmonary carcinoid tumours
  • Peripheral pulmonary carcinoid tumor
  • Peripheral pulmonary carcinoid tumors

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: atypical
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  • Case 2
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