Carcinoid tumours describe a range of neoplasms arising from neuroendocrine cells or their precursors. Of intestinal carcinoids, the most common sites are in the midgut, especially the appendix and terminal ileum. Non-intestinal carcinoids include those of the lung, testes and ovary. They are usually of low-grade malignancy.
The carcinoid syndrome develops when products, chiefly serotonin, are released by the tumour in large amounts and escape hepatic degradation.
The carcinoid syndrome is seen in two situations:
Epidemiological studies from the US suggest the age-adjusted incidence of carcinoid tumours varies between 2.47 and 4.48 per 100,000 population, with the rates being highest in black males, then black females, then white Americans (1)
Last reviewed 08/2018