Malignant Tumors of the Lung in Small Lung Biopsies

  • Mostafa M. Fraig


The diagnosis of malignant lung tumors on a small biopsy or on cytologic material is one of the most crucial tasks in the daily practice of pathology. The lung is difficult to sample as it is mobile with respiration and a vascular organ with liability to bleeding and puncture resulting in pneumothorax. Small material is the norm in the initial evaluation of nodules and masses, and the differential diagnosis is wide and varied. The integration of clinical and radiological findings becomes more crucial in the approach to a final and accurate diagnosis. It is important to be accurate but also to be helpful in narrowing the differential diagnosis whenever possible.

The introduction of targeted therapy added a new demand on pathologists to do more with less. Currently pathologists are asked to be specific in diagnosing adenocarcinoma and procuring tissue for molecular testing in addition to immunohistochemical studies.

Neuroendocrine tumors constitute an important group in the lung with their wide spectrum and overlapping features among themselves as a group but with other tumors of non-neuroendocrine derivation such as basaloid squamous cell carcinoma and those with partial neuroendocrine differentiation such as large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma.


Squamous cell carcinoma Adenocarcinoma Small cell carcinoma Large cell carcinoma Sarcomatoid carcinoma Carcinoid tumor 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pathology and Laboratory MedicineSchool of Medicine, University of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA

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