Thymic carcinoid

What is thymic carcinoid?

Thymic carcinoid is a rare neuroendocrine tumor that typically affects men in the fourth to fifth decades of life. About 50% of patients have endocrine abnormalities, most commonly Cushing syndrome resulting from ectopic adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) production or multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome. Classic carcinoid syndrome caused by serotonin secretion is rarely associated with thymic carcinoid. Symptoms and signs secondary to local mass effect and invasion may also occur. A large lobulated and usually invasive anterior mediastinal mass is seen that may be associated with cystic, necrotic, hemorrhagic, or calcific change. Lymphadenopathy and distant metastases may be seen in 75% of cases. Complete surgical excision is the treatment of choice, and radiotherapy and chemotherapy may be used for more advanced disease.

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