Carcinoid cardiac lesions

Carcinoid cardiac lesions are a known complication of carcinoid tumours and are particularly prevalent in those who develop the carcinoid syndrome (up to 50%).


There is thickening of the mural and valvular endothelial surfaces of right-sided cardiac structures. This is thought to occur as a response to circulating neuroendocrine substances (serotonin, bradykinin, histamine, prostaglandin, etc) released into the bloodstream by the original carcinoid tumour.


The lesions typically affect the right heart valves (tricuspid and pulmonary) and endocardial surfaces of right-sided chambers. This is primarily a reflection of the relative occurrence of original carcinoid tumours (e.g. bowel). Left sided valve lesions can occur with primary bronchial carcinoid or in those with a right to left shunt (e.g. patent foramen ovale).

Radiographic features

  • consider in the case of isolated tricuspid or pulmonary valve lesions
  • may shows thickened, retracted valves 1,4
  • often fixed with minimal movement during the cardiac cycle 1,4
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Article information

rID: 10530
Systems: Cardiac, Oncology
Section: Pathology
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Cardiac lesions in carcinoid syndrome
  • Carcinoid heart disease

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