About Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Symptoms, Signs of Carcinoid Tumors or Carcinoid Syndrome

Last Updated on Mar 14, 2016
Font : A-A+

Symptoms, Signs of Carcinoid Tumors or Carcinoid Syndrome

Clinical features are due to the action of the various endocrine substances that carcinoid tumors produce. Normally these secretions are metabolised by the liver, however when the liver reaches its functional limit they get released into the systemic circulation producing symptoms.

Advertisement
  • Flushing

This is the most common feature: about 80% of patients with carcinoid syndrome exhibit flush. A flush is typically dark red (to violet) and usually involves the head, neck, and the upper trunk. It may last over 30 seconds up to 3 minutes (sometimes hours, especially when the tumor is in the lungs).

The precipitating events may be: stress, alcohol, exercise, or certain foods such as cheese.

Some patients develop telangiectasis. These are red spots that appear primarily on the face and neck. They arise due to dilation of blood vessel and capillaries. Flushing may also accompany diarrhoea, oedema in the face, excess of tears (lacrimation), and intense itching (pruritis).

  • Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea is the second most common symptom. Severe watery diarrhoea can happen in most cases of carcinoid syndrome. About 85% of diarrhoeas occur with flushing. Prolonged severe diarrhoea leads to dehydration. The patient may run into deficiency of nutrients because of the impaired absorption by the body.

Advertisement
  • Pain

Patients with carcinoid syndrome may complain of cramping pains. Abdominal pains may occur independently or in association with diarrhoea.

  • Heart diseases

Heart disease occurs in up to 50% of the patients with carcinoid syndrome. Only 20% of patients with carcinoids may show symptoms. However diagnostic methods like echocardiography can help in finding the ailment earlier. Valves in the heart are commonly involved.

Other clinical features may be:

  • Wheezing or asthma like features
  • Vitamin deficiency: Pellagra-this arises due to the deficiency of a vitamin called niacin. The patient has diarrhoea, skin manifestations (dermatitis) and mental disorders (dementia).
Advertisement

Severe cases

In some patients, stressful conditions like a surgery may precipitate life threatening attacks with severe and prolonged flushing. This is termed as carcinoid crisis.

The functions of the liver are affected in severe cases. Failure of the heart or the liver that happen in the most severe cases causes death.

References:

  1. Cecil Medicine, 23rd Ed.
  2. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, 17th Ed

Citations   close

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Dr. Nithin Jayan. (2016, March 14). Symptoms, Signs of Carcinoid Tumors or Carcinoid Syndrome. Medindia. Retrieved on May 21, 2022 from https://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/carcinoid-tumors-symptoms-and-signs.htm.

  • MLA

    Dr. Nithin Jayan. "Symptoms, Signs of Carcinoid Tumors or Carcinoid Syndrome". Medindia. May 21, 2022. <https://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/carcinoid-tumors-symptoms-and-signs.htm>.

  • Chicago

    Dr. Nithin Jayan. "Symptoms, Signs of Carcinoid Tumors or Carcinoid Syndrome". Medindia. https://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/carcinoid-tumors-symptoms-and-signs.htm. (accessed May 21, 2022).

  • Harvard

    Dr. Nithin Jayan. 2021. Symptoms, Signs of Carcinoid Tumors or Carcinoid Syndrome. Medindia, viewed May 21, 2022, https://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/carcinoid-tumors-symptoms-and-signs.htm.


Do you wish to consult an Oncologist for your problem? Ask your question

Dr. Amit Jain
Dr. Amit Jain
MBBS, MS
15 years experience
Sai Health Care, Shadara
+ 1 more
Teleconsult Now View Profile
Dr. Rajinder Kaur Saggu
Dr. Rajinder Kaur Saggu
MBBS, MS, FFR
23 years experience
Teleconsult Now View Profile
View All

Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.

Advertisement
Health Topics A - Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z



    Advertisement
    Drugs for Carcinoid Tumors
    Octreotide
    Telotristat ethyl
    What's New on Medindia
    Prevent Hacking of Medical Devices: FDA Sounds Alarm
    Black Water: Benefits and Uses
    World Hypertension Day 2022 - Measure Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer!
    View all
    Advertisement

    Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

    Most Popular on Medindia

    Drug Side Effects Calculator Sanatogen Accident and Trauma Care A-Z Drug Brands in India Blood Donation - Recipients Drug Interaction Checker Find a Hospital Iron Intake Calculator Daily Calorie Requirements Find a Doctor

    Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

    © All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

    This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use