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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2003 August;58(4):523-32

language: English, Italian

Gastrointestinal carcinoids. Prognosis and survival

Caprotti R., Angelini C., Mussi C., Romano F., Sartori P., Scaini A., Muselli P., Uggeri F.


Background. Gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors are rare and little is known about factors related to prognosis in patients with carcinoid disease. Aim of this study is to determine the impact of clinical presentation variables on the management and survival.
Methods. We have evaluated 31 consecutive patients with gastrointestinal carcinoid tu-mours who underwent surgical intervention at the I Department of Surgery of Milano-Bicocca University over 15 years (1985-1999). Tumor distribution, hormone production, prognostic factors and survival were analysed.
Results. Carcinoid syndrome was the only clinical pattern diagnostic of carcinoid tumour. Most common symptoms were abdominal pain (64%), nausea and vomiting (48%). High levels of urinary 5-hydroxyindolacetic acid were significantly associated with carcinoid syndrome and metastatic disease. Tumor size, depth and gender were significant predictors of metastases. Age, gender, tumor size, metastatic spread and location were statistically significant predictors of death.
Conclusions. Clinical presentation was non specific except for those patients affected by carcinoid syndrome. Ten years overall survival was 43%, with 52% metastatic spread incidence. The extent of surgical resection should be modulated on patient related risk factors. Poor prognostic factors affecting survival were: age, gender, metastatic disease, depth of invasion and tumour size.

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