Carcinoid Tumor Follow-up

Updated: Oct 16, 2017
  • Author: Cameron K Tebbi, MD; Chief Editor: Max J Coppes, MD, PhD, MBA  more...
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The most serious complication of carcinoid tumors is carcinoid crisis, which is often observed in patients who have foregut tumors and high levels of 5-HIAA.



The prognosis for patients with completely resected localized disease is excellent. [97] Tumors larger than 2 cm, positive lymph nodes, and atypical histologic features are often associated with a poor prognosis. [98] In patients with carcinoid tumors located in the appendix, age, primary tumor size, histologic features, lymph node involvement, and distant metastasis are significant factors in predicting survival. [99]

In adult patients, factors associated with poor survival include persistence of plasma neurokinin A (NKA), urinary 50-hydroxyindolacetic acid output, age, and 5 or more liver metastases. Rise in plasma NKA appears to be independent of other prognostic factors and constitutes the strongest indication. [100]