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The current status in diagnosis of gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors

Author(s): D. Dimitroulopoulos | Aikaterini Fotopoulou | D. Xinopoulos | K. Tsamakidis | E. Paraskevas

Journal: Annals of Gastroenterology
ISSN 1108-7471

Volume: 21;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 88;
Date: 2008;
Original page

The carcinoid tumor, argentaffinoma, is a member of a very exclusive neoplastic family, known also in the past as neuroendocrine or amine precursor uptake and decarboxylation tumors. Carcinoids have been found to arise from almost every organ and system derived from the primitive endoderm, but most frequently originated from the gastrointestinal tract, accounting for approximately half of all gastrointestinal endocrine tumors. Between 75,5 and 90% of all gastrointestinal carcinoids are located in only three sites: the appendix, rectum and small intestine. Irrespectively to their location, carcinoids are capable of producing various peptides. These tumors may present at different disease stages with either hormonal or hormonal-related symptoms/syndromes, or without hormonal symptoms and may occur either sporadically or as a part of hereditary syndromes. Their clinical course is often indolent but can also be aggressive and resistant to treatment. This review provides a broad outline of progress that has been made in the elucidation of their clinical and laboratory diagnosis including recent advances in genetics, molecular biology, histopathology, biochemical markers, radiologic and scintigraphic imaging and endoscopy of gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors.
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