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Accurate analysis of NET pathology

Accurate, detailed pathology reporting is necessary for definitive identification and confirmation of a neuroendocrine tumor (NET).

Pathologically speaking, NETs are defined as epithelial neoplasms with predominant neuroendocrine differentiation.33 Essentially, NETs constitute a broad spectrum of biologically different neoplasms. However, despite this variability, many NETs have remarkably similar pathologic features, rendering their distinction and identification challenging to pathologists much as they are to other medical specialists.4,33,34

Because the optimal management of patients with NETs involves multiple specialists,34 pathology reports for NETs should contain certain information that facilitates effective decision-making by all members of the management team.33

A NET pathology report should include these 7 elements33

  1. Site and diagnosis
  2. Stage
  3. Differentiation
  4. Grade, proliferative rate, and mitotic rate
  5. Other prognostic factors, such as necrosis or vascular invasion
  6. Non-NET-related components
  7. Status of margins