What is Carcinoid Syndrome?


23 February 2021

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Here we have come up with a query that is “What is Carcinoid Syndrome?
Carcinoid syndrome is the collection of symptoms some people get when a neuroendocrine tumour, usually one that has spread to the liver, releases hormones such as serotonin into the bloodstream.
It is predominantly associated with neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) that arise from the mid-gut in the setting of extensive liver metastases but may be present in patients with bronchial carcinoids, and more rarely, in patients with pancreatic NETs. Carcinoid tumors most commonly occur in the small intestine and appendix, but 10% originate in the lung.
Other affected areas include the rectum, colon, pancreas, stomach, ovary, thymus, kidney, prostate, breast and elsewhere.
Affected people with carcinoid syndrome may experience skin flushing, abdominal pain, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, rapid heart rate, low blood pressure, skin lesions on the face (telangiectasias), and wheezing. In later stages, it may cause damage to the heart valves, resulting in symptoms of congestive heart failure.
The symptoms of carcinoid syndrome include episodes of warmth and redness of the face, head and upper chest; diarrhea; marked changes in blood pressure (usually hypotension, a decrease in blood pressure); asthmatic-like wheezing; weight loss or gain; malnutrition; dehydration; weakness; muscle and joint aching; and peptic ulcer.
Carcinoid syndrome refers to a group of symptoms caused by the systemic release of different kinds of humoral factors like polypeptides, biogenic amines, and prostaglandins mostly from well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumors.
Previously well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumors were known as carcinoid tumors. Neuroendocrine tumors are derived from enterochromaffin cells that are ubiquitous in our body. As per the study conducted by Alur et al. (2017), it is estimated that only about 10% of neuroendocrine tumors result into carcinoid syndrome.
Carcinoid-syndrome is characterized by the presence during the disease at some time of diarrhea, cutaneous flushing, wheezing/asthma-like symptoms, and pellagra-like skin lesions with hyperkeratosis and pigmentation. In Canada, carcinoid tumors represent less than 0.25% of the oncology patient load


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