Carcinoid Crisis

Cancer.net – Carcinoid Tumor: Symptoms and Signs which includes the following definitions:

Carcinoid syndrome

Carcinoid syndrome is more common in people who have had a carcinoid tumor for many years. Approximately 60% of people with a carcinoid tumor eventually develop carcinoid syndrome.

People with carcinoid syndrome may experience the following symptoms or signs:

  • Facial flushing
  • Sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing or asthma-like symptoms
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Heart murmur
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Weakness
  • Secondary diabetes
  • Increased body and facial hair
  • High blood pressure and significant fluctuations in blood pressure
  • Neurosis and psychosis. Neurosis is a psychological or behavioral disorder primarily characterized by anxiety. Psychosis is a severe emotional and behavioral disorder that can cause a person’s mental capacity to become very distorted or disorganized, which may interfere with the person’s ability to cope with the demands of everyday life.

Stress, strenuous exercise, and drinking alcohol may make these symptoms worse.

Carcinoid crisis

Carcinoid crisis is a term used when all of the symptoms of carcinoid syndrome occur at the same time. Carcinoid crisis is the most serious and life-threatening complication of carcinoid syndrome. It generally occurs after a person has already experienced some symptoms of carcinoid syndrome.

Carcinoid crisis may occur suddenly, or it can be brought on by stress, chemotherapy, or anesthesia. A carcinoid crisis may be prevented and successfully treated with octreotide (Sandostatin), a medication that helps raise low blood pressure and control the production of hormones.

Other references:

Summary of “Mega-dose intravenous octreotide for the treatment of carcinoid crisis: a systematic review.” (pdf file available)

Mega-dose intravenous octreotide for the treatment of carcinoid crisis: a systematic review (includes long list of references with links)

Long-term survival in a patient with malignant carcinoid treated with high-dose octreotide. (Abstract)

Intra-operative carcinoid crisis: Revised anaesthesia management (May 2017)

Continuous infusion of octreotide combined with perioperative octreotide bolus does not prevent intraoperative carcinoid crisis. (Jan 2016)