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July 1956

Carcinoid (Argentaffin) Tumors of the Gastrointestinal Tract

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery, St. Luke's Hospital, University of Illinois College of Medicine, and Northwestern University Medical School.

AMA Arch Surg. 1956;73(1):21-37. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1956.01280010023005

Carcinoid tumors of the gastrointestinal tract have received more attention in the literature than the frequency of their occurrence would justify. This is, no doubt, because of the unusual clinical and pathological characteristics of these tumors. The origin of the carcinoid tumors has been the subject of much controversy in the past. The malignancy potential of these tumors has not been fully appreciated.

We have reviewed all of the cases of carcinoid tumors in the pathological files of St. Luke's Hospital, Chicago. We wish to emphasize the malignancy potential of these tumors.

Historical Review  Langhans1 described what was undoubtedly a carcinoid of the small bowel, in 1867, although he did not recognize it as such. Lubarsch2 has usually been credited as the first to describe a carcinoid tumor. In 1882, he described a tumor of the ileum which differed from the usual carcinoma of the bowel. He noted