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PanNET : Clinical Features

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CLINICAL FEATURES: Non-functioning pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NF-PanNETs) occur over a wide age range (mean age at diagnosis 50-55 years). By definition, they are not associated with a clinical hormonal syndrome. Small tumors, especially in the tail of pancreas, remain clinically silent and are often discovered incidentally on imaging studies. Larger tumors can impinge upon surrounding structures and produce clinical manifestations, including abdominal mass, abdominal pain, jaundice, and weight loss.

About 50% of patients present with metastases which may be regional (regional lymph nodes, liver) or distant (lung, bones). Serum chromogranin A or neuron-specific enolase levels may be elevated. Diagnosis is supported by imaging studies (endoscopic ultrasound, CT, MRI, somatostatin receptor scintigraphy, and PET scan).

About this image: Well-differentiated PanNET showing anastomosing cords, trabeculae and nests of uniform tumor cells separated by abundant hyalinized stroma.

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