Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology
Home About us Instructions Submission Subscribe Advertise Contact e-Alerts Ahead Of Print Login 
Users Online: 1323
Print this page  Email this page Bookmark this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 148-151

Primary neuroendocrine carcinoma of thymus: A rare cause of Cushing's syndrome

Department of Pathology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Ruchika Gupta
162, Pocket-B, Sarita Vihar, New Delhi-110 076
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0377-4929.59210

Rights and Permissions

Thymomas constitute majority of the thymic neoplasms. In contrast, neuroendocrine tumors (carcinoid and neuroendocrine carcinoma) of thymus are extremely rare. Thymic carcinoids may present rarely with Cushing's syndrome due to the ectopic production of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). Recognition of this association is imperative for appropriate management of patients. We describe three cases of rare atypical carcinoid tumor (neuroendocrine carcinoma) of the thymus. Case 1, of a 26-year-old man presenting with Cushing's syndrome, case 2 - a 23-year-old female with Cushingoid features, and Case 3 - a 39-year-old man complaining of progressively worsening dyspnea. Computed tomography (CT) scans of chest in all three patients revealed anterior mediastinal mass. Excision of tumors and histological examination of the three tumors showed a carcinoid tumor with nuclear pleomorphism, increased mitotic activity and focal necrosis. The features suggested a diagnosis of atypical carcinoid tumor in all the three cases. The tumor cells in Cases 1 and 2 showed focal immunohistochemical staining for ACTH. Atypical carcinoid (neuroendocrine carcinoma, well-differentiated and moderately-differentiated) of the thymus is a rare thymic tumor which carries a worse prognosis compared to thymoma and requires aggressive therapy. Hence, an accurate diagnosis is essential.

Print this article     Email this article
 Next article
 Previous article
 Table of Contents

 Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
 Citation Manager
 Access Statistics
 Reader Comments
 Email Alert *
 Add to My List *
 * Requires registration (Free)

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded273    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 8    

Recommend this journal