Carcinoid syndrome

Definition of Carcinoid syndrome

Carcinoid syndrome is a group of symptoms associated with carcinoid tumors — tumors of the small intestine, colon, appendix, and bronchial tubes in the lungs.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Carcinoid syndrome is the pattern of symptoms sometimes seen in people with carcinoid tumors. These tumors are rare, and often slow growing. About 70% of carcinoid tumors are found in the gastrointestinal tract.

Symptoms

Most carcinoid tumors have no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they may include:

Signs and tests

Most of these tumors are found when tests or procedures are done for other reasons, such as during abdominal surgery.

Treatment

Surgery to remove the tumor is usually the first treatment. It can permanently cure the condition if the tumor is completely removed.

Expectations (prognosis)

The outlook in patients with carcinoid syndrome is different from the outlook in patients who have carcinoid tumors without the syndrome.

Review

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 9/26/2010

Serotonin uptake

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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