Pancreatic neuroendocrine neo-plasms: 2020 update on pathologic and imaging findings and classification

Lokesh Khanna, Srinivasa R. Prasad, Abhijit Sunnapwar, Sainath Kondapaneni, Anil Dasyam, Varaha S. Tammisetti, Umber Salman, Alia Nazarullah, Venkata Katabathina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (panNENs) are heterogeneous neoplasms with neuroendocrine differentiation that show characteristic clinical, histomorphologic, and prognostic features; genetic alterations; and biologic behavior. Up to 10% of panNENs develop in patients with syndromes that predispose them to cancer, such as multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1, von Hippel–Lindau disease, tuberous sclerosis complex, neurofibromatosis type 1, and glucagon cell adenomatosis. PanNENs are classified as either functioning tumors, which manifest early because of clinical symptoms related to increased hormone production, or nonfunctioning tumors, which often manifest late because of mass effect. PanNENs are histopathologically classified as well-differentiated pancreatic neu-roendocrine tumors (panNETs) or poorly differentiated pancreatic neuroendocrine carcinomas (panNECs) according to the 2010World Health Organization (WHO) classification system. Recent advances in cytogenetics and molecular biology have shown substantial hetero-geneity in panNECs, and a new tumor subtype, well-differentiated, high-grade panNET, has been introduced. High-grade panNETs and panNECs are two distinct entities with different pathogenesis, clinical features, imaging findings, treatment options, and prognoses. The 2017WHO classification system and the eighth edition of the American Joint Committee on Cancer staging system include substantial changes. Multidetector CT, MRI, and endoscopic US help in anatomic localization of the primary tumor, local-regional spread, and metastases. Somatostatin receptor scintigraphy and fluorine 18– fluorodeoxyglucose PET/CT are helpful for functional and metabolic assessment. Knowledge of recent updates in the pathogenesis, clas-sification, and staging of panNENs and familiarity with their imaging findings allow optimal patient treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1240-1262
Number of pages23
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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