Ultrastructural pathology

Neuroendocrine carcinoma of the stomach with extensive somatostatin immunoreactivity.

PMID 1359688


Upper gastrointestinal tract neuroendocrine tumors producing predominantly somatostatin have thus far been described only in the duodenum; their characteristic features include the frequent presence of psammoma bodies (psammomatous somatostinomas), and the association with von Recklinghausen's neurofibromatosis. Gastric neuroendocrine tumors, on the other hand, tend to display immunoreactivity to serotonin but may include small subpopulations producing gastrin, motilin, pancreatic polypeptide, and somatostatin. In this report we describe a neuroendocrine carcinoma of the stomach with rapidly fatal outcome, displaying neurosecretory granules by electron microscopy and immunoreactivity to pan-neuroendocrine markers, ie, chromogranin and neuron-specific enolase. The only neuroendocrine regulatory peptide detected in the tumor was somatostatin, identified by immunohistochemistry in the majority of neoplastic cells. In contrast with duodenal somatostinomas, there were no psammoma bodies and no demonstrable association with von Recklinghausen's neurofibromatosis. To our knowledge this appears to be the first report of a malignant neuroendocrine tumor with diffuse somatostatin immunoreactivity.