Role of immunohistochemical markers chromogranin A and synaptophysin: a retrospective analysis for the outcome of patients with pulmonary carcinoid tumors

Background: Carcinoid tumors are a subset of neuroendocrine tumors, of which pulmonary carcinoid (PC) is the second most common type. PC is divided into typical (TC) and atypical (AC) subtypes. They have a low incidence and a relatively high survival rate. In this study, we report the characteristics, prognosis, and results of PC patients from Gansu Provincial People’s Hospital in China to better understand these tumors and their prognostic markers.

Materials and methods: This is a study based on retrospective chart review in our tertiary referral center. In this study, there were 36 consecutive PC patients enrolled from 2000 to 2017. The information collected including demographics, tumor characteristics and recurrence and survival rates. All patients had their last follow up visit on December 31, 2020.

Results: 39% of patients were asymptomatic at the time of diagnosis and, most patients suffer from early disease. 80% of patients have typical PC and 20% are atypical PC. Both subtypes have a good prognosis, but the atypical subtype has a higher rate of progression (60%). The median time to disease progression or recurrence is 6 years. Only 2 patients died. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) markers in those tested showed high sensitivity for chromogranin A (82%) and synaptophysin (100%).

Conclusion: Our study provides insights for PC patients with low incidence in Northwest China. Most patients are treated with surgery and have a good survival rate. IHC marking should be better implemented. Larger studies are needed to illustrate and verify our results.

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