- Bronchial Carcinoids are thought to arise from neuroendocrine kulchitsky cells of the bronchial epithelium which may also be the cell of origin for the Small Cell subtype of bronchogenic carcinomas (SCLCs). Indeed bronchial carcinoids may simply represent slightly less deranged and more differentiated neoplastic cells on the same basic axis as SCLCs. Although potentially malignant and locally aggressive, bronchial carcinoids tend to stay fairly localized with distant metastases being rare. Consequently, surgical resection is often curative for these slower-growing cousins of SCLCs.
- Given their neuroendocrine background, cells of bronchial carcinoid may produce biologically active molecules such as ACTH; however, few produce an outright carcinoid syndrome. Consequently, bronchial carcinoids are usually discovered due to localized growth into bronchi resulting in cough, hemoptysis, or airway obstruction resulting in downstream atelectasis. Bronchial Carcinoids represent only 1% of all lung tumors and cigarette smoking does not appear to be a risk factor. However, bronchial carcinoids are associated with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia.