Goblet cell carcinoid of the appendix: laparoscopic appendectomy or right hemicolectomy?

M Maes, K Segers, P Cheyns
Acta Chirurgica Belgica 2008, 108 (4): 447-50
Goblet cell carcinoids are uncommon tumours with histological features of both adenocarcinoma and carcinoid tumour. They occur predominantly in the appendix and although the malignant potential remains unclear, adenocarcinoids appear to be more aggressive than conventional carcinoids. In this case report, we present a goblet cell carcinoid with laparoscopic operative treatment in two stages. A 43-year-old female patient with constant dullness in the right lower quadrant was diagnosed with acute appendicitis and underwent laparoscopic appendectomy. Macroscopically, a diffusely inflamed appendix was found with no sign of perforation. Histopathological examination revealed a goblet cell carcinoid with characteristics of aggressive behaviour, indicating the need for laparoscopic right hemicolectomy in which, however, neither residual tumour nor metastatic lymph nodes could be found. The postoperative course was uneventful. As they may present the same clinical presentation, pathological diagnosis is required to distinguish goblet cell carcinoid from acute appendicitis. Two-stage surgery for goblet cell carcinoid is advocated in the literature, but the debate still continues as to whether the goblet cell carcinoid should be treated by appendectomy alone, as for most carcinoids, or by right hemicolectomy, as for the appendiceal adenocarcinoma.

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