Skeletal metastasis of carcinoid tumors: Two case reports and review of the literature

Oncol Lett. 2012 May;3(5):1105-1108. doi: 10.3892/ol.2012.622. Epub 2012 Feb 28.


Carcinoid tumors are neuroendocrine neoplasms derived from enterochromaffin cells. Skeletal metastases from carcinoid tumors are considered to be extremely rare. In this study, we present two cases of carcinoid tumors that metastasized to the bone. Furthermore, we review 50 published case reports and reveal the features of skeletal metastasis of carcinoid tumors. The first case involved a 59-year-old man with a history of multiple metastases of a lung carcinoid tumor. The patient complained of back pain and numbness in the lower limbs. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed metastases in the thoracic spine. A spinal decompression was performed and the symptoms were resolved. The second case involved a 74-year-old man had been diagnosed with a lung carcinoid tumor 15 years previously and complained of left thigh pain. A radiograph showed osteolytic lesions in the shaft of the left femur. We repaired the femur using an intramedullary nail following curettage of the tumor. A radiograph of the femur revealed a callus on the pathological fracture. The patient was able to walk using a crutch 3 months after surgery. We reviewed 50 cases that described skeletal metastasis from carcinoid tumors. The average age of the patients was 54.9 years and 33 patients (66%) were male. The most common site of skeletal metastasis was the spine. We also investigated the survival rate of patients who developed skeletal metastasis from carcinoid tumors. The findings showed that survival of patients who developed osteolytic skeletal metastasis was worse than that of patients who developed osteosclerotic skeletal metastasis.