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Medicina (Buenos Aires)

Print version ISSN 0025-7680On-line version ISSN 1669-9106


PATANE, Karina et al. Diffuse idiopathic pulmonary neuroendocrine cell hyperplasia/tumorlets. Medicina (B. Aires) [online]. 2022, vol.82, n.1, pp.154-158. ISSN 0025-7680.

Diffuse idiopathic hyperplasia of neuroendocrine cells is an extremely rare condition. It is a widespread proliferation of neuroendocrine cells, without primary process justifying it. Usually symptomatic in most cases, asymptomatic forms are also described. We describe three cases, 2 women and 1 man, average age 63 years (range 57-71) who presented with bilateral pulmonary nodules. Average follow-up: one year and three months (range 1 month-3 years). The two women had cough, progressive dyspnea and airflow obstruction in the spirometry, and were treated for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, respectively, with little relief of symptoms. The remaining patient consulted for diagnosis of pulmonary nodules of unknown cause and a suspicion of metastatic disease. The biopsies diagnostic were: in the first and third case diffuse idiopathic hyperplasia of euroendocrine cells - tumorlets; and in the second case typical carcinoid tumor and diffuse idiopathic hyperplasia of neuroendo crine cells. The first patient controlled the symptoms with maximum bronchodilator therapy. The second patient presented immediate postoperative severe bronchospasm and respiratory failure which required ventilatory as sistance, atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response (both signs interpreted as paraneoplastic syndromes) which responded favorably to the empirical octeotride management. The third patient is asymptomatic and in control. The diffuse neuroendocrine cell hyperplasia represents a diagnostic challenge because of the rarity of this condition. Lung biopsy in patients with multiple, bilateral pulmonary nodules and clinical history of cough and progressive dyspnea should be considered to confirm this entity.

Keywords : Diffuse idiopathic pulmonary neuroendocrine cell hyperplasia; Tumorlets; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Asthma; Differential diagnosis.

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