Colon tumor
Carcinoma
Small cell carcinoma

Author: Raul Gonzalez M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 3 January 2017, last major update October 2015

Copyright: (c) 2002-2017, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Small cell carcinoma [title] colon
Cite this page: Small cell carcinoma. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://pathologyoutlines.com/topic/colontumorsmallcell.html. Accessed June 22nd, 2017.
Definition / general
  • One of two neuroendocrine carcinomas of the colon, along with large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (discussed here)
  • Rare (< 1% of colorectal carcinomas) and aggressive (distant metastases common; 64% of patients dead at 5 months historically (Am J Clin Pathol 1991;95:315)
Sites
  • Usually in cecum or right colon, but can arise anywhere
Clinical features
  • Presents earlier than convention colorectal carcinoma (mean age ~ 60 years)
Prognostic factors
Case reports
Gross images

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Resected bowel

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Resembles pulmonary small cell carcinoma
  • Sheets and nests of small ovoid cells with minimal cytoplasm, hyperchromatic nuclei with stippled chromatin, nuclear molding with peripheral palisading, brisk mitotic activity, apoptotic cells, necrosis and vascular invasion
  • May have Azzopardi effect (encrustation of nuclear material around blood vessels)
  • No prominent nucleoli or pleomorphism
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Mitoses, apoptosis and necrosis

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H&E and Synaptophysin

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Synaptophysin+

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CD56+

Positive stains
Electron microscopy description
  • Dense core secretory granules
Differential diagnosis