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Serotonin measurement in the serum is mainly used to diagnose carcinoid syndrome and to monitor the treatment of carcinoid tumors.

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Serotonin, or 5-hydroxytryptamine, is an indolamine synthesized from L-tryptophan, a basic amino acid from intestinal mucosa cells. Serotonin is stored in platelets but is also found in many tissues of the body, including the central nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract. Serotonin mediates cardiovascular integrity, neurotransmission, contraction of smooth muscle fibers (gastrointestinal motility), prolactin and growth hormone release, and blood clotting functions. This wide range of actions occurs as a result of the presence of serotonin receptors throughout the body.

Serotonin measurement is more commonly used to confirm the diagnosis of carcinoid tumors.

Possible Interpretations of Pathological Values
  • Increase: Carcinoid syndrome, cystic fibrosis, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, endocarditis, idiopathic hypertension, Huntington's disease, metastases, migraine, myocardial infarction, celiac disease, lung cancer (causing ectopic production), pain (chronic), pancreatic islet cell cancer (causing ectopic production), primary pulmonary hypertension, schizophrenia, medullary thyroid cancer (causing ectopic production). Medications: Imipramine, methyldopa, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), reserpine, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) (citalopram, desmethyl-citalopram, fluoxetine, milnacipran, norfluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline, venlafaxine), tramadol (decreases serotonin reuptake)
  • Decrease: Depression, Down syndrome, Parkinson's disease, phenylketonuria, renal failure, teratomas (benign cysts)



Important Note

Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".

Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.

At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.

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