Carcinoid Heart Disease in Patients Without Hepatic Metastases

Alain M. Bernheim, Heidi M. Connolly, Patricia A. Pellikka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Most carcinoid tumors originate in the gut. Carcinoid heart disease typically occurs when tumor progression results in the formation of hepatic metastases, which allow vasoactive substances to reach the heart without being metabolized in the liver. Except for patients with primary ovarian carcinoid tumors, the occurrence of carcinoid heart disease without hepatic metastases has been reported only anecdotally. From a retrospective analysis of 265 patients, 4 patients were identified who developed carcinoid heart disease in the absence of liver metastases or primary tumors located in the ovaries. All 4 patients had metastases to the retroperitoneal lymph nodes and had carcinoid syndrome. The reasons for referral to cardiac evaluation by transthoracic echocardiography were findings on auscultation in 3 patients and exertional dyspnea in 1 patient. In conclusion, cardiac symptoms or findings on auscultation should prompt further evaluation by transthoracic echocardiography in these patients, although the classic prerequisites for development of carcinoid heart disease are lacking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)292-294
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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