Pancreatic Pathology Online

Pathology of Enterochromaffin Cell (Carcinoid) Tumour  

Dr Sampurna Roy MD                    July 2016


Enterochromaffin cell (EC cell) carcinoid tumours of pancreatic islets that elaborate serotonin are rare.

The benign variant induces the so-called atypical carcinoid syndrome, consisting of a severe facial flush, hypotension, periorbital edema, and lacrimation.

The malignant variant metastasizes to the liver and causes the classic carcinoid syndrome, which is additionally associated with endocardial fibrosis of the right heart.

Histologically, the primary pancreatic enterochromaffin cell (EC cell) carcinoid tumour is usually composed of uniform round cells, proliferating in small nests or trabeculae.

The tumor cells are strongly positive with both Grimelius and Fontana-Masson stains.

The immunohistochemical study reveal that the tumour cells are positive for serotonin and chromogranin.

Some islet cell tumours with the histologic features of carcinoid tumours have contained products other than serotonin, such as insulin, gastrin, vasoactive intestinal peptide calcitonin, and prostaglandins.


Further reading:

Primary carcinoid tumor of the pancreas.

Carcinoid tumor of the pancreas with obstructive pancreatitis.

Rare solid pancreatic tumors.

Diagnostic pathology of gastrointestinal and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours.

Cystic pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors: endoscopic ultrasound and fine-needle aspiration characteristics.

Immunocytochemistry and electron microscopy of an argentaffin endocrine tumour of the pancreas.

Diagnostic pathology of gastrointestinal and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours





Dr Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant  Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)






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