alexa Recurrence of pulmonary carcinoid tumors after resection: implications for postoperative surveillance.


Journal of Neonatal and Pediatric Medicine

Author(s): Lou F, Sarkaria I, Pietanza C, Travis W, Roh MS

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BACKGROUND: The current guidelines for follow-up care after treatment of non-small cell lung cancer recommend continued surveillance for detection of recurrent or metachronous disease. However, carcinoid tumors, especially those with a typical histologic profile, tend to be less aggressive. Our goal was to determine the patterns of relapse and the manner of detection of recurrences, to guide follow-up care after resection. METHODS: Patients who underwent operations for pulmonary carcinoids at our institution were identified from a prospectively maintained database, and their medical records were reviewed for relapse patterns, detection methods, and outcomes. RESULTS: A total of 337 patients who underwent resection between 1993 and 2010 were included, with a median follow-up time of 3.5 years. Typical and atypical carcinoids were present in 291 (86%) and 46 (14%) patients, respectively. Recurrences occurred in 21 patients (6%), with distant metastases in 20 patients (95%) and locoregional recurrence in only 1 patient. Most recurrences (15 [76%]) were not detected through scheduled surveillance imaging but after the presentation of symptoms (7 [33%]) or incidentally by studies performed for unrelated reasons (8 [38%]). The risk of recurrence increased with positive lymph nodes and atypical histologic type. Only 9 of 291 patients (3%) with typical carcinoids experienced recurrences, with a median time to recurrence of 4 years (range, 0.8-12 years). Conversely, 12 of 46 patients (26%) with atypical carcinoids experienced recurrences, with a median time to recurrence of 1.8 years (range, 0.2-7 years). CONCLUSIONS: After complete resection, scheduled surveillance imaging failed to detect most recurrences. Recurrence was rare in patients with node-negative typical carcinoids. Given the low risk of recurrence and the unclear efficacy of surveillance imaging, routine surveillance imaging may not be warranted in this cohort.

This article was published in Ann Thorac Surg and referenced in Journal of Neonatal and Pediatric Medicine

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