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Surgery. 2005 Dec;138(6):971-7; discussion 977-8.

Carcinoid tumors of the duodenum.

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Department of Surgical Oncology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.



Carcinoid tumors of the duodenum are rare, and their natural history has not been defined. Consequently, there is no consensus on the optimal extent of surgical treatment.


The authors reviewed the records of all patients with primary carcinoid tumors of the duodenum treated at their institution from 1969 through 2004. Patients with primary periampullary tumors and gastrinomas were excluded.


Twenty-four patients had a pathologic diagnosis of duodenal carcinoid tumor. The majority (89%) of tumors measured less than 2 cm in diameter, and most (85%) were limited to the mucosa or submucosa. Lymph node metastases were identified in the surgical specimen in 7 (54%) of 13 patients in whom lymph nodes were examined, including 2 patients with tumors smaller than 1 cm and limited to the submucosa. At a mean follow-up of 46 months, the disease-specific survival rate was 100%, and only 2 patients have had recurrences in regional lymph nodes. No patient has had distant metastases or the carcinoid syndrome.


Carcinoid tumors of the duodenum are indolent. The presence of regional lymph node metastases cannot be predicted reliably on the basis of tumor size or depth of invasion, and their impact on survival is uncertain.

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