Carcinoid heart disease: diagnosis by two-dimensional echocardiography.
We prospectively studied 14 patients with the carcinoid syndrome to determine if two-dimensional echocardiography could detect the nature and extent of valvular abnormalities. Eight of the 14 patients had definite abnormalities of the right-sided cardiac valves. The tricuspid valve had a characteristic appearance, similar to previously described pathologic findings. The leaflets appeared diffusely thickened, shortened and stiff without evidence of commissural fusion. Saline contrast studies demonstrated tricuspid regurgitation, which corresponded to the severity of the tricuspid valve involvement. The pulmonary valve could only be adequately assessed in seven of 14 patients, and morphologic abnormalities similar to those in the tricuspid valve were found. Follow-up studies have shown progression of cardiac disease in six of eight patients. We conclude that two-dimensional echocardiography can detect the characteristic cardiac abnormalities in the carcinoid syndrome and may be a useful tool for following their progression.
- Copyright © 1982 by American Heart Association