Cervical metastases from small bowel carcinoid tumors

William H. Marks, William E. Strodel, Ricardo V. Lloyd, Frederic E. Eckhauser, Norman W. Thompson, Aaron I. Vinik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Small bowel carcinoid tumors usually metastasize to regional lymph nodes and the liver but metastases to the neck are extremely rare. Over a ten‐year period 48 cases of small bowel carcinoid were diagnosed at our institution and of these, three cases (6%) were associated with neck metastases—one to the thyroid gland and two to cervical lymph nodes. The former patient and one of the latter patients had symptoms of the carcinoid syndrome. The other patient was asymptomatic and presented with a solitary neck mass. Urine levels of 5‐hydroxyindolacetic acid (5‐HIAA) were elevated in the two symptomatic patients but were undetectable in the asymptomatic patient. Extirpation of the involved cervical nodes and the primary small bowel lesion was performed in two patients. In addition, both patients have received chemotherapy with 5‐fluorouracil. One patient remains asymptomatic four years after diagnosis but the other patient continues to have five to six bowel movements per day nine months after operation. Small bowel resection was performed in the patient with a metastasis to the thyroid. This patient died of sepsis after a second operation for an intraabdominal abscess. The histological patterns of the primary tumor and the metastatic lesions were similar and the cells of the metastases contained argentaffin‐positive granules. We conclude that 1 an intraabdominal carcinoid tumor should be considered as the location of the primary tumor in patients who present with a neck mass containing metastatic carcinoid and 2 the prognosis for patients with extraabdominal metastases is similar to that for patients with intraabdominal disease only.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-141
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1983
Externally publishedYes


  • carcinoid
  • carcinoid metastases
  • carcinoid syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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