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Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2006 Fall;18(3):191-8.

Bronchial typical carcinoid tumors.

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Division of Thoracic Surgery, Department of General Surgery and Surgical Specialties, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.


The current WHO classification of lung tumors recognizes bronchial typical carcinoid as low-grade neuroendocrine tumors. These tumors grow slowly but can metastasize to regional nodes (4 to 20%) and more rarely to extrathoracic sites. Symptoms are usually related to local compression and obstruction of the bronchial tree. Paraneoplastic syndrome can be present (carcinoid syndrome, Cushing's syndrome, acromegaly). Preoperative diagnosis is usually obtained with bronchoscopic biopsy. Computed tomography and somatostatin receptor scintigraphy are useful in the preoperative staging. Only selected cases can be treated endoscopically with laser resection. The complete surgical resection remains the only therapy with curative intent in the majority of patients. Parenchyma-sparing resections are indicated whenever possible. Overall survival after surgery is excellent (5-year rate, 87 to 100%) with low recurrence rate (2 to 11%). N-status and type of resection seem not to affect prognosis. Local relapse can be treated successfully with surgery, whereas distant metastases have a poor prognosis even after chemotherapy.

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