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Salt and Pepper Appearance in Carcinoid (Neuroendocrine) Tumour

Dr Sampurna Roy MD


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The term carcinoid (Karzinoide) was introduced by German pathologist Oberndorfer in 1907.

Carcinoid tumors are neuroendocrine tumours which arise from enterochromaffin/Kulchitsky cells. These cells are present throughout the body. Carcinoid tumours are commonly noted in the gastrointestinal tract and respiratory tract. These are rarely found in other organs like thymus, thyroid, ovary and testis.

The tumour is characterized by nests of uniform tumour cells with abundant eosinophilic cells, round to oval nuclei, distinct nuclear membrane with salt and pepper - like chromatin in Carcinoid (Neuroendocrine) Tumours.

The neuroendocrine tumours are classified into 3 groups based on the immunostaining of Ki-67 or mitotic count

1) Neuroendocrine Tumors G1 (NET) G1: Ki-67 <2%,

2) NET G2: Ki-67 320%,

3) NET G3: Ki-67 >20%.

The term "carcinoid" is used for NET G1.


Further reading:

The development and characterization of a human midgut carcinoid cell line.

Duodenal carcinoid tumor: report of a case diagnosed by endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration biopsy with immunocytochemical correlation.

Primary neuroendocrine tumor (carcinoid tumor) of the testis: a case report with review of literature.

Distinguishing carcinoid tumor of the mediastinum from thymoma

Isolated carcinoid tumor metastatic to the thyroid gland: report of a case initially diagnosed by fine needle aspiration cytology.


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Dr  Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)








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