Mesenteric angiopathy, intestinal gangrene, and midgut carcinoids

Surgery. 1981 Oct;90(4):720-8.


Twenty-six cases of carcinoid-related mesenteric angiopathy and intestinal infarction (three from our institution and 23 previously reported cases) were reviewed. Twenty patients presented with acute abdominal findings, including peritonitis (13 cases), intestinal obstruction (five cases), and bleeding per rectum (two cases). Fifteen patients (75%) experienced antecedent symptoms of abdominal pain and/or diarrhea, averaging 2.5 years in duration. Twelve patients (46%) exhibited symptoms of carcinoid syndrome. Mesenteric angiography in three cases demonstrated encasement and segmental branch narrowing or occlusion of major mesenteric vessels. Eleven patients underwent resection and primary bowel anastomosis with an early survival rate of 91%. Four additional patients who underwent lesser surgical procedures and five patients who did not undergo operation all died. Elastic vascular sclerosis (EVS) was identified in 19 of 22 cases with available histologic material (86%). These changes were observed in proximity to as well as distant to the primary tumor. In general, the severity of EVS did not correlate with the likelihood of gut ischemia. Although not the sole cause of intestinal gangrene in patients with midgut carcinoids, EVS may contribute significantly to the evolution of these ischemic changes.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoid Tumor / complications*
  • Carcinoid Tumor / pathology
  • Carcinoid Tumor / surgery
  • Female
  • Gangrene / complications*
  • Humans
  • Ileal Neoplasms / complications*
  • Ileal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ileal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Intestines / pathology*
  • Male
  • Mesenteric Arteries / pathology
  • Mesenteric Vascular Occlusion / complications*
  • Mesenteric Vascular Occlusion / pathology
  • Mesenteric Veins / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Sclerosis / pathology