CARCINOID tumors were first described approximately 100 years ago but the nature and clinical significance of this lesion was not understood until the beginning of the last decade. Langhans,1 Lubarsch,2 and Ransom,3 in the late 19th century, were among the first observers to describe these tumors. The Kultschitzky cell was incriminated as the origin of the tumor by Gosset and Masson4 after Oberdorfer5 named the lesion in the early 20th century. Elucidation of serotonin, its pharmacology, and association with carcinoid tumors during recent years has stimulated the clinician, pharmacologist, physiologist, and biochemist to correlate their findings to give added impetus regarding the knowledge of this disease.
Carcinoids have been reported in 0.2% of all routine autopsies and constitute approximately 10% of all small bowel neoplasms.6,7 Prior to 1939 there were no reported cases of carcinoid tumor diagnosed preoperatively, and since that time only a