Percutaneous Image-Guided Core Needle Biopsy of Neuroendocrine Tumors: How Common Is Intraprocedural Carcinoid Crisis?

Samuel Jang, John J. Schmitz, Thomas D. Atwell, Tasha L. Welch, Brian T. Welch, Timothy J. Hobday, Daniel A. Adamo, Michael R. Moynagh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To retrospectively evaluate the incidence of carcinoid crisis, other complications, and physiologic disturbances during percutaneous image-guided core needle biopsy of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) in the lung and the liver. Materials and Methods: Between January 2010 and January 2020, 106 computed tomography (CT) or ultrasound (US)-guided core needle biopsies of lung and liver NETs were performed in 95 consecutive adult patients. The mean age was 64 ± 13 years, and 48% were female. The small bowel was the most common primary site (33%, 31/95), and 32 (34%) patients had pre-existing symptoms of carcinoid syndrome. The mean tumor size was 3.2 ± 2.6 cm, and mean number of passes was 3.4 ± 1.6. A 17/18-gauge needle was used in 91% (96/106) of the biopsies. Thirteen (12%) patients received either outpatient or prophylactic octreotide. Results: No patients experienced carcinoid crisis or needed octreotide, inotropes, vasopressors, or resuscitation. A single biopsy procedure (0.9%, 1/106) was complicated by bleeding that required angiographic hepatic artery embolization. Changes in pre-biopsy- versus post-biopsy systolic blood pressure and heart rate were -1.6 mm Hg (P = .390) and 0.6 beat/min (P = .431), respectively. Tumor functional status, overall tumor burden, and the elevation of neuroendocrine markers were not associated with intraprocedural physiologic disturbances. There were 4 minor complications (0.4%, 4/106) associated with the biopsy procedure that were not attributed to hormone excretion from tumor manipulation. Conclusions: Percutaneous image-guided core biopsy of NETs is safe, with low complication rate and no definite carcinoid crisis in the current cohort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)745-751
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Percutaneous Image-Guided Core Needle Biopsy of Neuroendocrine Tumors: How Common Is Intraprocedural Carcinoid Crisis?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this