A prospective study of carcinoid crisis with no perioperative octreotide

Sarah M. Wonn, Anna N. Ratzlaff, Su Ellen J. Pommier, Belinda H. McCully, Rodney F. Pommier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Carcinoid crises, defined as the sudden onset of hemodynamic instability in patients with neuroendocrine tumors undergoing operation, are associated with significantly increased risk of postoperative complications. Octreotide has been used prophylactically to reduce crisis rates as well as therapeutically to treat crises that still occur. However, studies using octreotide still report crisis rates of 3.4% to 35%, leading to the questioning of its efficacy. Methods: Patients with neuroendocrine tumors undergoing operation between 2017 to 2020 with no perioperative octreotide were prospectively studied. Clinicopathologic data were compared by χ2 test for discrete variables and by Mann-Whitney U test for continuous variables. Results: One hundred and seventy-one patients underwent 195 operations. Crisis was documented in 49 operations (25%), with a mean duration of 3 minutes. Crisis was more likely to occur in patients with small bowel primary tumors (P = .012), older age (P = .015), and carcinoid syndrome (P < .001). Those with crises were more likely to have major postoperative complications (P = .003). Conclusion: Completely eliminating perioperative octreotide resulted in neither increased rate nor duration compared with previous studies using octreotide. We conclude perioperative octreotide use may be safely stopped, owing to inefficacy, though the need for an effective medication is clear given continued higher rates of complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-93
Number of pages6
JournalSurgery (United States)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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