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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2007 October;62(5):421-4

language: English

Total gastrectomy for type 1 gastric carcinoid: an unusual surgical indication?

Clemente G. 1, Sarno G. 1, Giordano M. 1, De Rose A. M. 1, Giovannini I. 1, Vecchio F. M. 2, Nuzzo G. 1

1 Department of Surgery Hepatobiliary Surgery Unit Catholic University of the Sacred Heart Agostino Gemelli School of Medicine
Rome, Italy
2 Department of Pathology Catholic University of the Sacred Heart Agostino Gemelli School of Medicine
Rome, Italy


Gastric carcinoid is a relatively rare neoplasm with peculiar features which differentiate it from the intestinal and pulmonary carcinoid and, obviously, from gastric adenocarcinoma. Gastric carcinoids are divided into three different types: Type 1, associated with gastric atrophy and megaloblastic anemia; Type 2, associated with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome within a type 1 multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN); and Type 3, sporadic tumor not associated with other lesions, particularly invasive and with poor prognosis. Type 1 carcinoid is usually asymptomatic and casually detected at endoscopy due to aspecific symptoms or to screening in patients with atrophic gastritis. It is generally small, multifocal and located in the gastric fundus, has no tendency for vascular invasion and is associated with a benign course. Therefore, the recommended treatment, for lesions < 10 mm and in a number < 5, is endoscopic resection with strict follow-up. We report a case of a woman with a type 1 gastric carcinoid in which, for the presence of an extended micropolyposis of the fundus a total gastrectomy was necessary for treatment. Pathology revealed vascular invasion at the level of the major lesion of 8 mm of diameter. In conclusion this finding, unknown before surgery, emphasizes the need for careful assessment also in the presence of apparently less important gastric carcinoid lesions.

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