Encyclopedia Home / C / Carcinoid syndrome

Carcinoid syndrome

  • Symptoms

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

    • Abdominal pain that comes and goes
    • Bright red flushing of the face, neck, or upper chest
    • Diarrhea
    • Heart palpitations
    • Low blood pressure
    • Wheezing

    Sometimes symptoms are brought on by physical exertion, or eating or drinking things such as blue cheeses, chocolate, or red wine.

    Signs and tests

    Most of these tumors are found when tests or procedures are done for other reasons, such as 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 of the chest or abdomen
    • Octreotide radiolabelled scan