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Misdiagnosis of Carcinoid syndrome

Misdiagnosis of Carcinoid syndrome

Carcinoid syndrome may be difficult to diagnose, as the symptoms are not specific to the syndrome....more about Carcinoid syndrome »

Alternative diagnoses list for Carcinoid syndrome:

For a diagnosis of Carcinoid syndrome, the following list of conditions have been mentioned in sources as possible alternative diagnoses to consider during the diagnostic process for Carcinoid syndrome:

Diseases for which Carcinoid syndrome may be an alternative diagnosis

The other diseases for which Carcinoid syndrome is listed as a possible alternative diagnosis in their lists include:

Carcinoid syndrome: Hidden Causes Misdiagnosed?

Causes of Carcinoid syndrome may include these medical conditions:

  • Serotonin stimulation induces irreversible endocardial fibrosis of the tricuspid and pulmonary valves, resulting in valvular dysfunction (stenosis or incompetence). The lungs metabolize serotonin and protect the left heart from fibrosis
  • more causes...»

Rare Types of Carcinoid syndrome:

Carcinoid syndrome: Medical Mistakes

Related medical mistakes may include:

Carcinoid syndrome: Undiagnosed Conditions

Commonly undiagnosed conditions in related areas may include:

Common Misdiagnoses and Carcinoid syndrome

Chronic digestive conditions often misdiagnosed: When diagnosing chronic symptoms of the digestive tract, there are a variety of conditions that may be misdiagnosed. The best known, irritable bowel syndrome, is over-diagnosed, whereas other causes that are less known may be overlooked or misdiagnosed: celiac disease, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis (both are called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)), diabetic gastroparesis, diabetic diarrhea. Other possibilities include giardia, colon cancer, or other chronic infections.

Intestinal bacteria disorder may be hidden cause: One of the lesser known causes of diarrhea is an imbalance of bacterial in the gut, sometimes called intestinal imbalance. The digestive system contains a variety of "good" bacteria that aid digestion, and they can decline for various reasons, leading to digestive symptoms such as diarrhea. The main treatment is to eat foods containing probiotics, typically yoghurt cultures. See intestinal imbalance and probiotics.

Antibiotics often causes diarrhea: The use of antibiotics are very likely to cause some level of diarrhea in patients. The reason is that antibiotics kill off not only "bad" bacteria, but can also kill the "good" bacteria in the gut. This leads to "digestive imbalance" where there are too few remaining "good" bacteria in the digestive system. The treatment is typically to use "probiotics", such as by eating yoghurt cultures containing more of the good bacteria. See digestive imbalance and probiotics.

Food poisoning may actually be an infectious disease: Many people who come down with "stomach symptoms" like diarrhea assume that it's "something I ate" (i.e. food poisoning). In fact, it's more likely to be an infectious diarrheal illness (i.e. infectious diarrhea), that has been caught from another person. Such conditions may be transmitted via the fecal-oral route.

Mesenteric adenitis misdiagnosed as appendicitis in children: Because appendicitis is one of the more feared conditions for a child with abdominal pain, it can be over-diagnosed (it can, of course, also fail to be diagnosed with fatal effect). One of the most common misdiagnosed is for children with mesenteric adenitis to be misdiagnosed as appendicitis. Fortunately, thus misdiagnosis is usually less serious than the reverse failure to diagnose appendicitis.

Spitz nevi misdiagnosed as dangerous melanoma skin cancer: One possible misdiagnosis to consider in lieu of melanoma is spitz nevi. See melanoma and spitz nevi.

Celiac disease often fails to be diagnosed cause of chronic digestive symptoms: One of the most common chronic digestive conditions is celiac disease, a malabsorption disorder with a variety of symptoms (see symptoms of celiac disease). A variety of other chronic digestive disorders tend to be diagnosed rather than this condition. See introduction to celiac disease or misdiagnosis of celiac disease.

Chronic digestive diseases hard to diagnose: There is an inherent difficulty in diagnosing the various types of chronic digestive diseases. Some of the better known possibilities are peptic ulcer, colon cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, or GERD. Other sometimes overlooked possibilities include Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, chronic appendicitis, Celiac disease, Carcinoid syndrome, gastroparesis, and others. See all types of chronic digestive diseases.

Carcinoid syndrome: Rare Types

Rare types of medical disorders and diseases in related medical areas:

Failure To Diagnose Carcinoid syndrome

Failure to diagnose Carcinoid syndrome may be associated with the following:

  • Failure to diagnose carcinoid syndrome can result in the complications associated with chronic malabsorption such as malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies
  • The longer it takes to diagnose and treat the condition, the greater the impact on survival time
  • Failure to diagnose carcinoid syndrome can result in the spread of cancer to lymph nodes which can ultimately lead to a bowel obstruction
  • Undiagnosed carcinoid disease can lead to heart valve damage which can only be repaired by surgery
  • Testing problems can result in the failure to diagnose carcinoid syndrome. Biochemical diagnosis involves measuring serotonin metabolite levels. Certain food and drugs may produce an abnormally high level which can mask the effect of the carcinoid syndrome. The foods that may cause problems for testing includes: spinach, eggplant, cheese, wine, caffeine, tomatoes, kiwi fruit, bananas, walnuts, pineapples, red plums, avocados. The foods that may cause problems for testing includes: isoniazid, phenothiazine, phenacetin, monamine oxidase inhibitors, acetaminophen, fluorouracil and iodine solutions
  • Sometimes, carcinoid syndrome remains undiagnosed and the carcinoid tumors are only incidentally found during a post-mortem are during and appendectomy
  • The failure to diagnose carcinoid syndrome can lead to the development of a carcinoid crisis which is a dramatic deterioration of symptoms which can be life-threatening

Notes On Hidden Causes Of Carcinoid syndrome

The following may be hidden causes of Carcinoid syndrome:

  • A family history of the carcinoid syndrome can increase the risk of developing the condition

Complications Of Misdiagnosis Of Carcinoid syndrome

The following may be complications of misdiagnosis of Carcinoid syndrome:

  • The gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhea, abdominal pain) associated with carcinoid syndrome may be misdiagnosed as a gastrointestinal infection (viral, bacterial, parasitic or fungal)
  • Breathing problems (wheezing) associated with carcinoid syndrome may be misdiagnosed as a respiratory tract infection
  • Right-sided heart failure that can occur as a complication of carcinoid syndrome may be misdiagnosed as heart disease
  • Bowel obstruction that can occur as a complication of carcinoid syndrome may be misdiagnosed as constipation
  • The asthma-like symptoms associated with carcinoid syndrome may be misdiagnosed as asthma
  • The flushing caused by carcinoid syndrome may be misdiagnosed as alcohol ingestion, menopause, hyperthyroidism, emotional stress, vipoma, rosacea and thyroid medullary carcinoma
  • The abdominal distention due to carcinoid syndrome and the associated carcinoid tumor may be misdiagnosed simply as increased weight

Other Notes On Misdiagnosis Of Carcinoid syndrome

  • Alcohol, large meals and foods with a high tyramine level may exacerbate symptoms of carcinoid syndrome
  • By the time the symptoms of carcinoid syndrome are evident the carcinoid tumor is already quite advanced
  • Anesthesia, chemotherapy and other cancer treatments can trigger severe carcinoid symptoms called a carcinoid crisis
  • Carcinoid syndrome patients may suffer blood pressure problems and bronchospasms during anesthesia
  • Severe carcinoid syndrome can result in a drop in blood pressure
  • One of the main symptoms of carcinoid syndrome is flushing which may also be caused by drugs such as diltiazem, amyl nitrate, nicotinic acid, levodopa and bromocriptine
  • One of the main symptoms of carcinoid syndrome is flushing which may also be caused by diseases such as basophilic chronic granulocytic leukemia, renal cell carcinoma, diencephalic seizures

General Misdiagnosis Articles

Read these general articles with an overview of misdiagnosis issues.

About misdiagnosis:

When checking for a misdiagnosis of Carcinoid syndrome or confirming a diagnosis of Carcinoid syndrome, it is useful to consider what other medical conditions might be possible misdiagnoses or other alternative conditions relevant to diagnosis. These alternate diagnoses of Carcinoid syndrome may already have been considered by your doctor or may need to be considered as possible alternative diagnoses or candidates for misdiagnosis of Carcinoid syndrome. For a general overview of misdiagnosis issues for all diseases, see Overview of Misdiagnosis.


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