Sporadic Gastric Well-Differentiated Neuroendocrine Tumors Have a Higher Ki-67 Proliferative Index

Hee Eun Lee, Taofic Mounajjed, Lori A. Erickson, Tsung Teh Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumor (WDNET) of the stomach can arise in three distinct clinical settings: (1) in association with autoimmune atrophic gastritis, (2) in association with multiple neuroendocrine neoplasia type I (MEN I) or Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (ZES), or (3) sporadic. The Ki-67 proliferative index (PI) in gastric WDNETs in these three distinct clinical settings has not been evaluated in detail. Forty-five gastric WNETs underwent polypectomy (n = 4), endoscopic mucosal resection (n = 12), and surgical resection (n = 29) between 1994 and 2015 were included. H&E slides from each case were reviewed, and Ki-67 immunostain was performed on one representative tumor block. Ki-67 PI was determined by quantitative Aperio image analysis software in areas of strongest nuclear labeling (“hot spots”), and correlated with underlying clinical and pathological features. Twenty-one patients were male and 24 female with a median age of 57 years (range, 30–80 years). Tumors were classified as type I (n = 17), type II (n = 6), and type III (n = 22) WDNETs. Types II and III showed more advanced TNM stage compared to type I (p = 0.02, overall). WHO grade based on Ki-67 PI was higher in type III WDNETs [grade 1 (G1), n = 3; grade 2 (G2), n = 15; and grade 3 (G3), n = 4] than in type I WDNETs [G1, n = 5; G2, n = 12] and in type II WDNETs [G1, n = 2; G2, n = 4] (p = 0.050, overall). Ki-67 PI was significantly higher in type III WDNETs (mean ± SD = 13.0 ± 13.3 %) than in non-sporadic (type I and II) WDNETs (mean ± SD = 5.3 ± 3.3 %; p = 0.015). There was no difference in Ki-67 PI between type I WDNETs (mean ± SD = 5.2 ± 3.5 %) and type II WDNETs (mean ± SD = 5.6 ± 3.1%; p = 0.817). Higher Ki-67 PI was associated with higher tumor T stage (p = 0.003) and also tended to be associated with lymph node metastasis (p = 0.071). In the Kaplan-Meier survival analysis, type I was associated with a significantly longer disease-free survival (DFS) time compared to type II (p = 0.018) or III (0.010). Also, the WHO G3 group had a significantly shorter DFS time than the WHO G1 (p = 0.020) or G2 (p = 0.007) group. Gastric WDNET is a heterogeneous disease entity encompassing three clinical subtypes—type I, type II, and type III—having their own distinct clinicopathologic characteristics and prognosis. Our results showed that sporadic (type III) WDNET had a significantly higher Ki-67 PI than non-sporadic cases (type I or II); increased PI was associated with higher tumor stage. We also described four type III cases of morphologically WD gastric NET with WHO grade 3 on the basis of Ki-67 PI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalEndocrine Pathology
StateAccepted/In press - Jun 15 2016


  • Gastric neoplasm
  • Ki-67 proliferative index
  • Survival analysis
  • Well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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