Prognostic criteria in nonfunctioning pancreatic endocrine tumours

Stefano La Rosa, Fausto Sessa, Carlo Capella, Cristina Riva, Biagio Eugenio Leone, Catherine Klersy, Guido Rindi, Enrico Solcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To identify prognostic subgroups among nonfunctioning (nonsyndromic) pancreatic endocrine tumours, a series of 61 tumours were analysed systematically for macroscopic, histopathological and immunohistochemical variables potentially predictive of malignancy. High-grade nuclear atypia, elevated mitotic rate and multifocal necrosis allowed us to separate 5 poorly differentiated carcinomas from 56 well differentiated tumours. Among the latter, 29 well-differentiated carcinomas showing gross local invasion or metastases were identified. Vascular or perineural microinvasion, Ki67 proliferative index > 2%, mitotic rate ≤ 2, size ≤ 4 cm, capsular penetration, nuclear atypia, lack of progesterone receptors and presence of calcitonin were among the variables correlated with malignancy. The first two were the most sensitive and specific. Their presence or absence was used in the 27 tumours lacking evidence of malignancy at the time of surgery to separate 11 cases with increased risk of malignancy (in 2 of which metastases developed during follow-up) from 16 cases with limited risk. The resulting four prognostic groups of nonfunctioning pancreatic endocrine tumours (limited- and increased-risk tumours, well-differentiated carcinomas and poorly differentiated carcinomas) showed distinct survival curves, which were significantly affected by vascular microinvasion, Ki67 proliferative index and metastases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-333
Number of pages11
JournalVirchows Archiv
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Immunohistochemical profile
  • Ki67 proliferative index
  • Nonfunctioning pancreatic endocrine tumours
  • Prognostic factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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