Carcinoid Crisis is rare, but if it happens, those most at risk are people who already have Carcinoid Syndrome, however, it may also occur in patients without prior history of carcinoid syndrome. It can occur spontaneously (without obvious cause) but is most associated as being triggered by anaesthesia or tumour manipulation (biopsy, surgery or interventional radiology – e.g. embolisation or ablation treatments).
Therefore, careful assessment and precautionary measures including treatment with Octreotide through an infusion, are usually undertaken before surgery or intervention.
Symptoms are similar to Carcinoid Syndrome but are much more severe – include severe flushing – often accompanied by palpitations / fast, irregular heart rate, low blood pressure, confusion and breathing difficulty – and can be life-threatening.
NCUK provide wallet alert cards for those at risk of Bowel Obstruction and / or Carcinoid Crisis – they can be ordered free here.
UKINETs have provided Bitesize Guidance for Healthcare Professionals on the prevention and / or management of Carcinoid Crisis here.