Low-Grade Neuroendocrine Carcinoma of the Skin (Primary Cutaneous Carcinoid Tumor) as a Distinctive Entity of Cutaneous Neuroendocrine Tumors: A Clinicopathologic Study of 3 Cases With Literature Review

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Abstract

There is scarcity of information on primary cutaneous low-grade neoplasms commonly known as carcinoid tumors, owing to their rarity. The authors present 3 cases that were named “low-grade neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin” (LGNECS). These occurred in the dermis and subcutis of the anterior chest or the inguinal region in the elderly. Histologically, the tumors showed infiltrating proliferation of nests of various sizes, with low-grade neuroendocrine cytologic features but without mucin production. All cases exhibited varying degrees of intraductal tumor components. On immunohistochemical examination, these tumors expressed estrogen receptor alpha, progesterone receptor, androgen receptor, gross cystic disease fluid protein 15, mammaglobin, and GATA3 as well as neuroendocrine markers. Although a literature review revealed 8 additional possible cases with no evidence of other diseases, it was difficult to determine if these were true cases of LGNECS, because of the limited information available. Based on its characteristic histologic features and immunoprofile, it can be proposed designating LGNECS as a distinct entity among cutaneous neuroendocrine tumors. Otherwise, such tumors could be misdiagnosed as mammary carcinomas (particularly when involving the skin of the breast) or as metastatic visceral neuroendocrine tumors of the skin.

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