BMJ Case Reports 2013; doi:10.1136/bcr-2012-007217
  • Case report

Current state of knowledge on neuroendocrine small bowel tumours: non-systematic review of the literature based on one case

  1. Ovidiu Fabian2
  1. 1CHUV University Medical Center, Emergency Department, Lausanne, Switzerland
  2. 2Department of General Surgery, C.F. University Hospital, “Iuliu Hatieganu” University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
  1. Correspondence to Dr Nicolae Irinel Simion, irisnicol{at}
  • Received 10 September 2012
  • Revised 21 October 2012
  • Accepted 22 October 2012
  • Published 17 January 2013


More than 60% of neuroendocrine tumours, also called carcinoids, are localised within the gastrointestinal tract. Small bowel neuroendocrine tumours have been diagnosed with increasing frequency over the past 35 years, being the second most frequent tumours of the small intestine. Ileal neuroendocrine tumours diagnosis is late because patients have non-specific symptoms. We have proposed to illustrate as an example the case of a patient, and on its basis, to make a brief review of the literature on small bowel neuroendocrine tumours, resuming several recent changes in the field, concerning classification criteria of these tumours and new recommendations and current advances in diagnosis and treatment. This patient came to our emergency department with a complete bowel obstruction, along with a 2-year history of peristaltic abdominal pain, vomits and diarrhoea episodes. During emergency laparotomy, an ileal stricture was observed, that showed to be a neuroendocrine tumour of the small bowel.

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