Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Carcinoid Syndrome Underlying Cause

The cause for carcinoid tumors is unknown, but genetics may play a role.

Genes control the functions inside a cell. Special genes control how cells divide and grow. Cancer occurs when the damaged genes stimulate the cell to multiply out of control. The exact cause for this damage is unknown.


  • DNA
  • Genes on chromosomes
  • Cancer cells
  • Cancer cell division

Carcinoid tumors produce serotonin, which is a hormone that dilates blood vessels throughout the body.

Continue to Carcinoid Syndrome Anatomy

Last Updated: Jan 26, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Carcinoid Syndrome References
  1. Ahlman H, Nilsson O, Olausson M. Interventional treatment of the carcinoid syndrome. Neuroendocrinology. 2004;80 Suppl 1:67-73. [15477721]
  2. Akerstrom G, Hellman P, Hessman O, Osmak L. Management of midgut carcinoids. J Surg Oncol. 2005 Mar 1;89(3):161-9. [15719373]
  3. Fox DJ, Khattar RS. Carcinoid heart disease: presentation, diagnosis, and management. Heart. 2004 Oct;90(10):1224-8. [15367531]
  4. Nikou GC, Lygidakis NJ, Toubanakis C, et al. Current diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal carcinoids in a series of 101 patients: the significance of serum chromogranin-A, somatostatin receptor scintigraphy and somatostatin analogues. Hepatogastroenterology. 2005 May-Jun;52(63):731-41. [15966194]
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