Diagnostic Tests


Biochemical Studies

Serum chromogranin-A

The sensitivity and specificity depends on the cutoff value. In general sensitivity ranges from 50% - 100%.

Serum enolase*

Human chorionic gonadotropin*

Pancreatic polypeptide*





Urinary excretion of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA)

It has a sensitivity of over 90% and specificity of 90% for the carcinoid syndrome.

Radiologic Studies

Computed tomography (CT) scan

CT scans are non-invasive and readily available. Sensitivity for primary tumor ranges from 14% - 77%. Higher for metastatic lesion.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

MRI sensitivity for primary tumor is between 74% - 100%. It is the most sensitive method for detection of liver metastases.

Endoscopic ultrasonography

Useful for small pancreatic lesions and does not require contrast administration. It is operator dependent.

Somatostatin receptor scintigraphy

Most common technique for detecting gastropancreatic neuroendocrine tumours, with sensitivity of 67% - 100%.

Positron emissions tomography (PET) scan


Arterial secretagogue injection

An invasive two-stage procedure. Sensitivity of 70% - 95%.