During a control infusion noradrenaline and alcohol each provoked carcinoid flushing in four of five patients and pentagastrin in two of five patients. When tetradecapeptide somatostatin was infused on another day no patient flushed at any time, even when 16 microgram of either noradrenaline or pentagastrin were administered. Carcinoid flushing was not associated with release of gastrin or any of the other vasoactive or postprandially released gut regulatory peptides measured. In a sixth patient with severe prolonged carcinoid flushing, subcutaneous Des AA1, 2, 4, 5, 12D Trp8 somatostatin markedly reduced the incidence and severity of flushing for two days. Somatostatin is thus a potent inhibitor of carcinoid flushing, but no evidence has been found for the gut hormones measured to be mediators of flushing.
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