Imaging

Carcinoid Tumors

Preliminary Diagnosis: Carcinoid Tumors

I. What imaging technique is first-line for this diagnosis?

Plain radiography.

II. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of this technique for diagnosing carcinoid tumors.

Advantages

  • Highly portable and quick imaging modality.

  • Does not expose patients to ionizing radiation.

Disadvantages

  • Severely limited in sensitivity and specificity in evaluating for carcinoid tumors.

  • Limited in evaluating the surrounding soft tissues, osseous structures, and vasculature.

  • Does not help guide treatment, therapy, or biopsy.

III. What are the contraindications for the first-line imaging technique?

No specific contraindications to plain radiography exist. Some institutions may require consent for pregnant patients.

IV. What alternative imaging techniques are available?

CT imaging of the area of interest with or without contrast.

V. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of the alternative techniques for diagnosing carcinoid tumors.

Advantages

  • Highly sensitive and specific in detecting, characterizing, and diagnosing carcinoid tumors.

  • Offers exquisite visualization of the surrounding soft tissues, osseous structures, and vasculature.

  • May help guide percutaneous intervention, treatment, and therapy.

  • Offers better evaluation of the primary process and for any secondary complications than plain radiography

Disadvantages

Exposes patients to ionizing radiation.

VI. What are the contraindications for the alternative imaging techniques?

May be contraindicated in pregnant patients.

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