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Am J Clin Pathol. 2005 Mar;123(3):394-404.

Usefulness of CDX2 and TTF-1 in differentiating gastrointestinal from pulmonary carcinoids.

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Department of Pathology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Carcinoids of different organs appear morphologically indistinguishable. We studied the usefulness of differential expression of CDX2 and thyroid transcription factor-1 (TTF-1) in 78 gastrointestinal and pulmonary carcinoids and their metastases (n = 10). CDX2 staining of gastric biopsy specimens with neuroendocrine hyperplasia (n = 11) and various gastritides (n = 10) was also performed. All ileal (6/6 [100%]), 6 (86%) of 7 appendiceal, 3 (75%) of 4 duodenal, 1 (50%) of 2 ampullary, 12 (33%) of 18 rectal, 6 (30%) of 20 pancreatic, and 1 (17%) of 6 gastric carcinoids expressed CDX2 with variable intensity; none of the pulmonary carcinoids stained. Of 15 pulmonary carcinoids, 8 (53%) stained with TTF-1, but none of the gastrointestinal carcinoids did. CDX2 and TTF-1 staining profiles of primary and metastatic carcinoids were similar. CDX2+ gastric endocrine cells had a distribution similar to that of gastrin and enterochromaffin cells but not enterochromaffin-like cells. Our results suggest that CDX2 and TTF-1 have high specificity for gastrointestinal and pulmonary carcinoids, respectively.

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