Heart involvement in metastatic carcinoid disease

Clin Cardiol. 1986 Jan;9(1):13-9. doi: 10.1002/clc.4960090104.


Sixteen patients with metastatic carcinoid tumors of ileal or cecal origin were studied in order to evaluate the frequency and degree of cardiac involvement in a nonselected patient group. We have also studied the correlation between plasma hormone levels (e.g., 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) and substance P) and the degree of cardiac involvement. The patients underwent physical examinations, electrocardiograms, chest x-rays, cardiac catheterization, and echocardiography. Plasma levels of 5-HT and substance P were analyzed. Carcinoid heart involvement was found in 3 of 16 patients (19%) but no patient had subjective symptoms associated with heart disease. Four patients (25%) had slight pulmonary hypertension. No left-sided heart lesions were seen. No correlation between blood levels of 5-HT or substance P and heart involvement was found. Eight patients died during the follow-up period, but in none of these was the cause of death cardiac failure. Carcinoid heart disease is not as common in our patients as in patients selected on a cardiological basis described in earlier studies. Echocardiography appears to be the most efficient technique for detection of even subclinical heart involvement and a useful tool for following its progress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure
  • Carcinoid Heart Disease / blood
  • Carcinoid Heart Disease / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoid Heart Disease / physiopathology
  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • Echocardiography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Malignant Carcinoid Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Middle Aged
  • Serotonin / blood


  • Serotonin