La radiologia medica

, Volume 124, Issue 2, pp 94–102 | Cite as

Diagnostic imaging of gastrointestinal neuroendocrine tumours (GI-NETs): relationship between MDCT features and 2010 WHO classification

  • Giulia Grazzini
  • Ginevra Danti
  • Diletta Cozzi
  • Monica Marina Lanzetta
  • Gloria Addeo
  • Massimo Falchini
  • Antonella Masserelli
  • Silvia Pradella
  • Vittorio MieleEmail author



We aimed to present our series of gastrointestinal neuroendocrine tumours (GI-NETs) in order to illustrate and highlight the associated contrast-enhanced multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT) features. We also attempted to identify a relationship between MDCT imaging and the 2010 World Health Organization (WHO) classification system.

Materials and methods

We selected all patients with pathologically proven GI-NETs diagnosed between January 2010 and August 2017. Only patients undergone contrast-enhanced MDCT imaging in the immediate preoperative period were included in our study. Later, two expert radiologists retrospectively assessed MDCT intestinal and extra-intestinal signs. We also analysed the relationship between MDCT imaging and the 2010 WHO classification.


A total of 20 patients (13 males, 7 females, age range 37–89 years, mean age 69.9 years) were included in our study. The majority of GI-NETs (85%) occurred in the small bowel and mainly in the terminal ileum. Forty-five percentage of our GI-NETs were diagnosed after an access to emergency medical service for obstruction symptoms or gastrointestinal bleeding. Regarding intestinal signs, 15/20 patients showed an intraluminal nodular mass and 5/20 a wall thickening. Extra-intestinal signs were present in 75% of cases. Desmoplastic reaction and lymph nodes metastases were significantly correlated with higher grade of GI-NETs.


The majority of GI-NETs appears as intraluminal mass often associated with extra-intestinal signs. We found a significantly correlation between higher grade of GI-NETs and extra-intestinal signs. MDCT imaging may be useful in predicting the pathological classification of GI-NETs.


Gastrointestinal neuroendocrine tumours Multi-detector computed tomography Intestinal signs Extra-intestinal signs Pathological classification 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest related to the publication of this article. No funding was received for this study.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in the studies involvement human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Medical Radiology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giulia Grazzini
    • 1
  • Ginevra Danti
    • 1
  • Diletta Cozzi
    • 1
  • Monica Marina Lanzetta
    • 1
  • Gloria Addeo
    • 1
  • Massimo Falchini
    • 1
  • Antonella Masserelli
    • 1
  • Silvia Pradella
    • 1
  • Vittorio Miele
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyAzienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria CareggiFlorenceItaly

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