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Tracheal carcinoid presenting as refractory cervicalgia in a postpartum patient: Correlation versus epiphenomenon

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September 7, 2012
by Arturo Loaiza-Bonilla, MD; Flavia Rossi, MD; Bassel Alkhalil, MD


Primary tracheal carcinoid tumor is an extremely rare disorder that has been reported only occasionally in the medical literature. We report a case of a 36-year-old African American woman who presented to the emergency department complaining of persistent neck pain for the preceding week. She was 2 weeks postpartum and had no significant medical history. Laboratory workup was unremarkable. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging showed a polypoid mass in the trachea. After bronchoscopy and laser ablation of the mass were performed, the final diagnosis of carcinoid tumor was made. To our knowledge this is the first reported case of this tumor in a postpartum patient. Further studies regarding the interactions between the natural history of carcinoid tumors and pregnancy are warranted. Their infrequency, clinical features, and pathophysiology make tracheal carcinoid tumors a formidable and interesting diagnostic challenge.

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