Background: Fine needle aspiration (FNA) is considered an excellent technique for documenting metastatic neuroendocrine tumors (NETs). This study aims to evaluate the accuracy of FNA in diagnosing metastatic NETs to the liver and determining the grade and origin of these metastases. Methods: Our laboratory information system was searched from 1997 to 2016 to identify all cases of metastatic NETs to the liver that were sampled by FNA. The cytopathology and surgical pathology reports as well as the patients' electronic medical records were reviewed. The cytohistologic type and grade of the metastatic NETs, as well as the site of the patient's primary were recorded. Results: High-grade NETs, including small cell and poorly differentiated neuroendocrine carcinomas, constituted 62% (167/271) of the cases, while low-grade NETs, including well differentiated NET (grade1 and grade 2), pheochromocytomas, paragangliomas, and carcinoid tumors of lung, constituted 38% (104/271) of cases. The most common diagnosis was metastatic small cell carcinoma accounting for 45% (122/271) of cases. The most common primary sites were lung (44%; 119/271) followed by pancreas (19%; 51/271). The FNA diagnosis was confirmed by histopathology in 121 cases that had a concurrent biopsies or resection specimens. Conclusions: FNA is an accurate method for diagnosing metastatic NETs to the liver. There were significantly more high-grade (62%) than low-grade (38%) metastatic NETs to the liver. In our practice, lung (44%) and pancreas (19%) were the most common primary sites of metastatic NETs involving the liver. In 16% of the cases, a primary site could not be established.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine