Octreotide treatment of carcinoid hypertensive crisis

R. R.P. Warner, S. Mani, J. Profeta, E. Grunstein

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37 Scopus citations


In the severe crisis of carcinoid syndrome the flush is usually accompanied by hypotension and occasionally shock. Injection of octreotide, the long-acting analog of somatostatin, usually prevents or aborts this vasomotor reaction. A small minority of carcinoid syndrome patients manifest hypertension during their crises and little has been reported in the literature on their management. We present the first case reports of the response of patients with hypertensive carcinoid crisis to treatment with octreotide. The world literature contains reports of 20 prior cases of hypertensive carcinoid crises occurring in association with the stress of surgery and anesthesia. Review of these cases reveals no common feature, other than hypertension, that might clearly distinguish them from the typical hypotensive carcinoid syndrome patient. It is hypothesized that the mechanism of action of octreotide correcting the blood pressure changes in all carcinoid crises is via its known inhibition of vasomotor product release from the tumor and blocking receptors for these substances. We suggest that hypertensive as well as hypotensive carcinoid crises respond to octreotide and that this agent should be considered for prophylactic and emergency use in all carcinoid syndrome patients prior to and during anesthesia and surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-355
Number of pages7
JournalMount Sinai Journal of Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1994


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