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Context Carcinoid tumors arising from the bile ducts account for only a small fraction of biliary tract cancers. Case report We report herein a 42-year-old man with a carcinoid tumor of the common bile duct. He presented with abdominal pain, bloating and dyspepsia. Clinicolaboratory and imaging studies suggested a probable obstructive common bile duct lesion. The patient underwent an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography with a stent placement in view of common bile duct decompression. Persistence of symptoms prompted a laparotomy and pancreaticoduodenectomy that revealed a well-differentiated carcinoid tumor originating in the common bile duct. Conclusion Clinician’s familiarity with the unusual sites of origin of neuroendocrine tumors and/or atypical presentation of such tumors may facilitate their early recognition and allow for a timely intervention.