Carcinoid tumours

Carcinoid tumours are a type of neuroendocrine tumour that can occur in a number of locations. Carcinoid tumours arise from endocrine amine precursor uptake and decarboxylation (APUD) cells that can be found throughout the gastrointestinal tract as well as other organs (e.g. lung). In general, they are slow growing tumours but are nevertheless capable of metastasizing.

  • can be variable, dependent on the location:
    • carcinoid tumours involving the jejunum and ileum can be large at presentation but are usually found incidentally
    • rectal carcinoids may cause pain
    • gastrointestinal tract carcinoid can present as vague abdominal pain
  • carcinoid syndrome: in 8% of patients with a carcinoid tumour 9
  • 5-HIAA (5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid): usually suggests a functioning carcinoid tumour
  • chromogranin A (CgA): considered a valuable tool in the diagnosis of neuroendocrine neoplasia in general 6

Refer to specific articles (above) for imaging characteristics.

111In-octreotide (Octreoscan) will concentrate in gastrointestinal tract carcinoid tumours as well as in liver metastases, and is generally considered the test of choice due to its high sensitivity 14

123I-MIBG will also concentrate in carcinoid tumours, including the low percentage (~15%) that are negative with 111In-octreotide 13

68Ga-octreotide PET scan: usually avid

It was initially coined by Oberndorfer in 1907 as “Karzinoide” to denote its resemblance to carcinoma 4.

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Article information

rID: 9528
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Carcinoid tumour
  • Carcinoid tumour general
  • Carcnoid tumor
  • Carcinoid tumour (general)
  • Carcinoid tumors

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Cases and figures

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    Macroscopic - ter...
    Figure 1: gross pathology - terminal ileal carcinoid
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    Microscopic (H&am...
    Figure 2: histological appearance
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    Case 1: on octreotide scan
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    Follow up
    Case 2: bronchial carcinoid with hepatic metastasis
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    Case 3: gastric carcinoid
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    Case 4: intestinal carcinoid
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    Case 5: jejunal carcinoid
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    Case 6: involving terminal ileum
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    Case 7: mesenteric carcinoid with hepatic and nodal metastases
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    Case 8: with liver metastases
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    Case 9: primary hepatic carcinoid
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    Case 10: terminal ileum carcinoid
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    Case 11: mesenteric carcinoid
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    Case 12: MRI
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    Case 13: small bowel carcinoid
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    Case 14: ileal carcinoid with orbital metastases
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    Case 15
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    Case 16: with liver metastases
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