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Imaging of Carcinoid Tumors: Spectrum of Findings With Pathologic and Clinical Correlation

Elsayes, Khaled M. MD*; Menias, Christine O. MD; Bowerson, Michyla MD; Osman, Omar M. MD§; Alkharouby, Ahmed M. MD; Hillen, Travis J. MD

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: January-February 2011 - Volume 35 - Issue 1 - p 72-80
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e3181fd2044
Review Article

Carcinoid tumors are primary malignant neoplasms that arise from neuroendocrine cells. These cells are located throughout the body, resulting in many possible locations for the development of carcinoid tumor. The most common primary location is the gastrointestinal tract, followed by respiratory and thymic carcinoids. The presentations of these tumors are variable depending on their location, aggressiveness, production of functional peptides, and tendency to invade or metastasize.

Carcinoid tumors can be imaged by various modalities including gastrointestinal studies, ultrasound, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging as well as nuclear medicine studies (radioactive octreotide). In this review, we illustrate the spectrum of imaging features of carcinoid tumors in various locations of the human body.

From the *Department of Radiology, University of Texas, Houston, TX; †Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO; ‡Department of Radiology, University of Michigan Health Center at Ann Arbor,Ann Arbor, MI; §Department of Radiology, University of Cairo, Cairo,Egypt; ∥King Faisal General Hospital, Makkah, Saudia Arabia.

Received for publication February 9, 2010; accepted March 5, 2010.

Reprints: Khaled M. Elsayes, MD, Department of Radiology, University of Texas, Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 77030 (e-mail:

The authors have nothing to disclose.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.