Rectal carcinoid tumors: Review of results after endoscopic and surgical therapy

Mary R. Kwaan, Joel E. Goldberg, Ronald Bleday

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess whether endoscopic treatment can clear local disease in patients with carcinoid tumor. Design: Retrospective cohort study. Setting: Tertiary care academic medical center. Patients: All patients diagnosed as having a neuroendocrine tumor or carcinoid tumor of the rectum who were evaluated at our institution between January 1, 1990, and December 31, 2006. Main Outcome Measure: Margin status of tumor resection. Results: Eighty-five patients were identified (median age at diagnosis, 55 years). Thirty-three tumors (39%) were asymptomatic and diagnosed during screening colonoscopy. Eleven tumors (13%) were metastatic at presentation. Of the 85 tumors, 48 (56%) were smaller than 1.0 cm. Endoscopic therapy was performed in 46 patients (54%). Of these, 38 patients (83%) had tumors with positive or indeterminate margins on histologic examination; of whom 6 (16%) had residual tumor on subsequent endoscopy and 1 (3%) had recurrence as metastatic disease. One patient who had a negative margin had residual tumor on follow-up. Thirty-one patients (36%) underwent surgical resection; of these, 23 (74%) underwent transanal excision or transanal endoscopic microsurgery, 6 (19%) underwent low anterior resection, and 2 (6%) underwent abdominoperineal resection. Eight patients who did not receive local clearance of tumor had metastases on presentation, had another active malignant neoplasm, or refused further surgical treatment. Among the 85 patients, 4 metastases occurred during follow-up, including 2 from tumors smaller than 1.0 cm at presentation. Conclusions: Endoscopic treatment is sufficient for tumors that are small, for tumors limited to the mucosa, and when a margin is negative for tumor. Transanal excision should be considered when margins of endoscopic resection are positive. We recommend rectal resection for tumors that are 1.0 to 1.9 cm and have high-risk features.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-475
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


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