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An Illustrated Review of the Recent 2019 World Health Organization Classification of Neuroendocrine Neoplasms: A Radiologic and Pathologic Correlation.

Recent advances in molecular pathology and an improved understanding of the etiology of neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs) have given rise to an updated World Health Organization classification. Since gastroenteropancreatic NENs (GEP-NENs) are the most common forms of NENs and their incidence has been increasing constantly, they will be the focus of our attention. Here, we review the findings at the foundation of the new classification system, discuss how it impacts imaging research and radiological practice, and illustrate typical and atypical imaging and pathological findings. Gastroenteropancreatic NENs have a highly variable clinical course, which existing classification schemes based on proliferation rate were unable to fully capture. While well- and poorly differentiated NENs both express neuroendocrine markers, they are fundamentally different diseases, which may show similar proliferation rates. Genetic alterations specific to well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumors graded 1 to 3 and poorly differentiated neuroendocrine cancers of small cell and large-cell subtype have been identified. The new tumor classification places new demands and creates opportunities for radiologists to continue providing the clinically most relevant report and on researchers to design projects, which continue to be clinically applicable.

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