Catheter Ablation in Patients With Neuroendocrine (Carcinoid) Tumors and Carcinoid Heart Disease: Outcomes, Peri-Procedural Complications, and Management Strategies

Samuel A. Shabtaie, Sushil Allen Luis, Robert C. Ward, Roshan Karki, Heidi M. Connolly, Patricia A. Pellikka, Suraj Kapa, Samuel J. Asirvatham, Douglas L. Packer, Christopher V. DeSimone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: This report describes a series of patients with neuroendocrine tumors with or without carcinoid heart disease undergoing catheter ablation at the authors’ institution. Background: Neuroendocrine (carcinoid) tumors are a rare form of neoplasm with the potential for systemic vasoactive effects and cardiac valvular involvement. These tumors can create peri-operative management challenges for the electrophysiologist. However, there are few data regarding ablation outcomes, periprocedural complications, and management of these patients. Methods: All patients with neuroendocrine tumors undergoing catheter ablation at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota over a 25-year period were retrospectively reviewed. From this cohort, the type of arrhythmias ablated, the recurrence of arrhythmia, perioperative complications, and mortality were reviewed and analyzed. Results: A total of 17 patients (52.9% male; mean age 62.4 ± 9.3 years) with neuroendocrine tumors underwent catheter ablation during the study period. Primary tumor sites included the gastrointestinal tract (n = 11), lung (n = 4), ovary (n = 1), and lymph node (n = 1). Nine patients had metastatic disease, 5 of whom were on somatostatin analog therapy at the time of ablation. Three patients had active symptoms of carcinoid syndrome at the time of ablation, and 2 of those patients had carcinoid heart disease. Ablations were performed mainly for atrial arrhythmias (76.5%): atrioventricular nodal re-entry tachycardia (n = 7), atrial fibrillation (n = 4), and atrial flutter (n = 2). Four patients underwent ablation of ventricular arrhythmias. During a mean follow-up of 19.2 ± 26.2 months, arrhythmia recurred in 35.3% of patients. Three patients (17.6%) had periprocedural complications: pericardial effusion (n = 1), groin site hematoma (n = 1), and carcinoid crisis (n = 1). No deaths were noted in the peri-operative period. Conclusions: In a unique cohort of patients with neuroendocrine tumors, catheter ablation was feasible in patients with or without carcinoid syndrome. Carcinoid crisis may occur during the periprocedural period, which can be life-threatening, and a specified protocol for management is important to mitigate this risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-160
Number of pages10
JournalJACC: Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • carcinoid heart disease
  • cardiac catheter ablation
  • catheter ablation
  • neuroendocrine tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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