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Research Article

Carcinoid tumour secreting dopa.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 288 doi: (Published 14 April 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;288:1111
  1. B K Sharma,
  2. B J Smits,
  3. R Robinson,
  4. S Burns,
  5. E N Trounson


    A middle aged woman referred for an abdominal mass was found to have large amounts of dopa (3-4-dihydroxyphenylalanine) metabolites in her urine. At operation a tumour affecting almost the entire left lobe of the liver was removed. Histologically the tumour was a metastatic carcinoid. After operation the excretion of dopa metabolites fell substantially, confirming that the tumour was the source. Apparently, owing to an enzyme defect the tumour had been unable to decarboxylate dopa. These findings are further evidence of a neural origin for the endocrine system of the gut.