CARCINOID TUMORS

Introduction

-Carcinoid tumor is a type of neuroendocrine tumor that grows from neuroendocrine cells

-They can arise in several organs throughout the body, most commonly in the digestive tract (appendix, ileum, rectum etc) or in the lungs 

Symptoms & Signs 

Some carcinoid tumors do not cause any symptoms and signs 

Classic triad: Cutaneous flushing, diarrhea and valvular heart disease

Carcinoid tumors in the GI: Nausea, vomiting, rectal pain, rectal bleeding, bowel obstruction, skin flushing, diarrhea, abdominal pain 

Carcinoid tumors in lungs: cough, hemoptysis, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest pain, diarrhea, skin flushing

Cardiac involvement: tricuspid regurgitation and pulmonary stenosis 

Diagnosis 

Imaging tests: CT, MRI, PET, nuclear scans, Octreotide scintigraphy

Labs: production of >15 mg/d of the serotonin metabolite 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) in the urine. 

Treatment 

Surgery, medications (octreotide), chemotherapy (5FU plus streptozocin or doxorubicin), radiation 

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