Fortuitously detected primary ovarian carcinoid tumor: A case report

Medicine (Baltimore). 2023 Aug 4;102(31):e34391. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000034391.


Rationale: Carcinoid tumors, derived from the cells of the disseminated neuroendocrine system, are rare, slow-growing neuroendocrine neoplasms that display a relatively indolent disease course. The majority of carcinoids are found within the gastrointestinal tract and bronchopulmonary system. Primary ovarian carcinoids are rare and account for merely 1% of all carcinoid tumors. We describe our experience of a rare case of primary ovarian carcinoid, presenting as chronic constipation, with no other carcinoid symptoms such as flushing, diarrhea, and wheezing.

Patient concerns: A 51-year-old postmenopausal woman with chronic constipation visited the clinic for routine check-up of her preexisting uterine fibroids. She had undergone hemorrhoidectomy 3 years ago. Physical examination revealed a soft abdomen without direct or rebound tenderness. Transvaginal ultrasonography revealed two subserosal fibroids, which had increased in size compared with previous ultrasonographic findings. A 3 cm hyperechoic mass was also detected in the right ovary. Her blood and urine tests were unremarkable, with no ascites in the pelvic cavity. She had a normal CA-125 level of 5.5 units/mL.

Diagnosis, interventions, and outcomes: The patient underwent a robot-assisted hysterectomy and right salpingo-oophorectomy because of enlarging fibroids and the right ovarian mass. Subsequently, based on the pathological and immunohistochemical findings, she was diagnosed with a primary ovarian carcinoid. The mass consisted of the insular and trabecular types of tumor cells. It was positive for pan-cytokeratin and synaptophysin, and the Ki-67 proliferation index was less than 1%. A follow-up positron emission tomography-computed tomography revealed no distant metastasis. Six months postoperatively, the patient was doing well without any signs of recurrence.

Lessons: Primary ovarian carcinoids without teratoma components are rare. It is crucial to make an accurate diagnosis based on the immunohistochemical staining results. Diagnosis in the early stages of the disease are associated with a favorable prognosis, but regular follow-up is mandatory.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoid Tumor* / complications
  • Carcinoid Tumor* / diagnosis
  • Carcinoid Tumor* / surgery
  • Constipation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / complications
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Salpingo-oophorectomy

Supplementary concepts

  • Gastro-enteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumor