Symptoms & Signs
Most carcinoid tumors have no symptoms. They only produce the syndrome about 10% of the time.
When symptoms do occur, they may include:
- Abdominal pain that comes and goes
- Bright red flushing of the face
- Diarrhea (may be explosive and severe)
- Heart palpitations
- Low blood pressure
Sometimes symptoms are brought on by physical exertion, or eating or drinking things such as blue cheeses, chocolate, or red wine.
Diagnosis & Tests
Most of these tumors are found during abdominal surgery.
A physical examination may show:
- Heart valve lesions
- Signs of niacin-deficiency disease (pellagra)
Tests may include:
- 5-HIAA levels in urine
- Blood tests (including serotonin blood test)
- CT and MRI scan
- OctreoScan (to identify most carcinoids and other neuroendocrine tumors)
Review Date : 9/4/2008
Reviewed By : Sean O. Stitham, MD, private practice in Internal Medicine, Seattle, Washington; and James R. Mason, MD, Oncologist, Director, Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program and Stem Cell Processing Lab, Scripps Clinic, Torrey Pines, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.