Atypical ovarian carcinoid tumor with widespread skeletal metastases: a case report of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 in a young woman

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Background: Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) is a rare autosomal dominant inherited condition affecting multiple endocrine organs, resulting in significant morbidity and decreased life expectancy. Early tumor identification allows for timely patient management, reduces morbidity, and improves disease outcomes. Patients with MEN1 typically present with primary hyperparathyroidism caused by multiple parathyroid tumors, however, thymic and bronchial carcinoid tumors are also less common manifestations. MEN1-related neuroendocrine tumors often show hematogenous metastasis, with the liver being the most common metastatic site. Skeletal metastases from neuroendocrine tumors are extremely rare. As few as 50 case reports were identified in a recently published literature review on skeletal metastases from carcinoid tumors. To our knowledge, studies related to MEN1 have not been previously conducted. Case presentation: We present a case of MEN1-related atypical ovarian carcinoid presenting as the first disease manifestation in a 30-year old woman. After two years, another atypical carcinoid was incidentally diagnosed in the contralateral ovary during a caesarean section. Syndromic MEN1 was not diagnosed clinically despite her young age and bilateral involvement. The patient remained disease-free for two years without further adjuvant treatment prior to clinic presentation with complaints of chest discomfort and body pain. Radiologic and pathologic investigations identified multifocal simultaneous neuroendocrine tumors involving the parathyroid, thymus, pancreas, and adrenal glands, in addition to multiple other metastatic sites. The findings ultimately resulted in the patient being diagnosed with MEN1. Conclusions: This extremely rare case emphasizes that ovarian carcinoids, especially when bilateral, could be the initial manifestation of MEN1. The significance of this differential diagnosis was highlighted by the subsequent detection of widespread skeletal metastasis resulting from the carcinoid tumors. A low threshold of suspicion, systemic diagnostic work-up, and regular follow-up are of utmost importance to timely diagnosis of MEN1.




Lou, L., Zhou, L., Wang, W., Li, H., & Li, Y. (2019). Atypical ovarian carcinoid tumor with widespread skeletal metastases: a case report of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 in a young woman. BMC Cancer, 19(1).

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