Carcinoid tumors are a rare biologically heterogeneous group of neuroendocrine tumors with a spectrum ranging from benign indolent to aggressive metastatic tumors. They belong to the category of amine precursor uptake and decarboxylase tumors, or apudomas. The most common sites for primary locations are the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts; however, any organ can be involved. The clinical presentation depends on location, aggressiveness, production of biologically active amines and peptides, paraneoplastic syndromes, and tendency for metastasis. Their reported age-adjusted incidence has increased in recent years, partly due to improved detection at radiologic imaging and endoscopy. Not all neuroendocrine cell tumors are carcinoids. Numerous systems have been proposed regarding their nomenclature and classification. Cross-sectional and functional imaging plays an important role in diagnosis, lesion characterization, and staging. Awareness of nomenclature, classification, common sites of involvement, and imaging presentation are pivotal for making the diagnosis. Knowledge of the diverse clinical, pathologic, and radiologic spectrum of carcinoid tumors involving various organs of the body is important for diagnosis and patient management.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging