Carcinoid heart disease: Current understanding and future directions

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Carcinoid tumors are rare and aggressive malignancies. A multitude of vasoactive agents are central to the systemic effects of these tumors. The additional burden of cardiac dysfunction heralds a steep decline in quality of life and survival. Unfortunately, by the time carcinoid syndrome surfaces clinically, the likelihood of cardiac involvement is 50%. Although medical therapies such as somatostatin analogues may provide some symptom relief, they offer no mortality benefit. On the other hand, referral to surgery following early detection has shown increased survival. The prompt recognition of this disease is therefore of the utmost importance.

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