Thursday, October 15, 2015

Atypical carcinoid syndrome mnemonic

Happy Friday everyone!

Carcinoid tumors are neuroendocrine tumors of the GI tract. They can make high levels of neuropeptides and amines, like serotonin, which can cause brief episodes of flushing, diarrhea, cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, heart disease, and in rare cases, pellagra. (Typical carcinoid syndrome)

Atypical carcinoids have a normal plasma serotonin level. They are characterized by extended episodes of deep purple flushing, headache, shortness of breath, and in rare cases, lacrimation (tears).

The mnemonic is, "FANTASTIC"

F: Foregut carcinoids

A: Atypical carcinoid syndrome is characteristic of foregut carcinoids.
A: ACTH (Ocassionally secrete)

NTAS: Negative for Argentaffin Stain (But they are argyrophilic)

T: 5HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) elevated.

IC: Inside bones Carcinoma (Metastasis to bone is common)

That's all!

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