Misdiagnosis of a small cell lung cancer resulting from inaccurate pathology

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Currently, a biopsy provides the most reliable evidence for diagnosing a disease, and the majority of doctors do not question the diagnosis made by a pathologist. However, an inaccurate diagnosis may lead to serious consequences; for example, a benign tumor may be misdiagnosed as a malignancy, or a malignancy may be deemed to be benign. How to avoid these types of mistakes is a continuing issue of concern to all doctors. Here, we report a case of small cell lung cancer misdiagnosed as an inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor. Fortunately, we performed a mediastinoscopy on the patient and discovered the actual pathologic condition. This case is presented to caution against the possibility of the misdiagnosis of uncommon diseases in clinical practice.




Song, T. N., Zhang, J. H., Li, B., Zhou, H., Jiang, P., Yang, J. B., … Guo, Q. W. (2015). Misdiagnosis of a small cell lung cancer resulting from inaccurate pathology. Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 99(5), e125–e127. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2015.02.003

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