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Carcinoid heart disease from ovarian primary presenting with acute pericarditis and biventricular failure
  1. D Vergani,
  2. L Massironi,
  3. F Lombardi,
  4. C Fiorentini
  1. Division of Cardiology, San Paolo Hospital, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
  1. Dr D Vergani, v. Anguissola 31, 20146 Milano, Italy.


A case is described of a 54 year old woman who had acute pericarditis with large exudative effusion accompanied by severe right and left ventricular failure. The patient was finally diagnosed with carcinoid heart disease from an ovarian carcinoid teratoma. She was treated with octreotide—a somatostatin analogue—followed by radical surgical resection of the neoplasm. At one year follow up only mild carcinoid tricuspid regurgitation remained. Only 16 cases of carcinoid heart disease from an ovarian primary have been described in literature. Moreover clinically manifest acute, non-metastatic pericarditis and left heart failure are not considered as possible presentations of carcinoid heart disease, whatever the origin. In a recent series a small pericardial effusion was considered an infrequent and unexpected echocardiographic finding in carcinoid heart patients. One case of “carcinoid pericarditis” has previously been described as a consequence of pericardial metastasis. Left sided heart involvement is usually caused by bronchial carcinoids or patency of foramen ovale; both were excluded in the case presented.

  • carcinoid heart disease
  • ovarian tumour
  • acute pericarditis
  • heart failure

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