Definition: a usually small, slow-growing neoplasm composed of islands of rounded, oxyphilic, or spindle-shaped cells of medium size, with moderately small vesicular nuclei, and covered by intact mucosa with a yellow cut surface; neoplastic cells are frequently palisaded at the periphery of the small groups, and the latter have a tendency to infiltrate surrounding tissue. Such neoplasms occur anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract (and in the lungs and other sites), with approximately 90% in the appendix and the remainder chiefly in the ileum, but also in the stomach, other parts of the small intestine, the colon, and the rectum; those of the appendix and small tumors seldom metastasize, but reported incidences of metastases from other primary sites and from tumors exceeding 2.0 cm in diameter vary from 25–75%; lymph nodes in the abdomen and the liver may be conspicuously involved, but metastases above the diaphragm are rare. About 1% of cases are associated with the carcinoid syndrome, usually after the portal circulation is bypassed as in cases involving liver metastases.
See Also: carcinoid syndrome
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