Surgical Treatment of Hyperinsulinism During the Course of Pancreatic Cancer (Insulinoma) - One Center Experience
Endogenic hyperinsulinism is mainly caused by neuroendocrine tumors (insulinomas) which autonomously secrete insulin. Because the symptoms are often aspecific, a considerably delay in diagnosis occurs. The treatment consists of operative removal of the tumor from the pancreas, preceded by pre-operative localization. In this article we describe our experience with surgical removal of insulinomas
Material and methods. We retrospectively analyzed all patients with insulinoma which were treated in our center. Definitive diagnosis was made using a 72-hours glucoses fasting test. We describe the symptoms, localization techniques and the outcomes after surgery.
Results. Between January 2002 and May 2011, 45 patients (35.6% men and 64.4% female) were treated in our center. The most prevalent symptoms were altered consciousness and general malaise. The combination of CT-scan and endoscopic ultrasound had the highest (90%) sensitivity to localize tumors pre-operatively. During surgery, in 40 patients (89%) the tumor could be removed by enucleation. In the other five patients partial pancreas resection was required. In 22 patients (49%) we used intra-operative insulin level measurements to confirm complete tumor resection. Within the first month after surgery, two patients (4.4%) developed acute pancreatitis, four patients (8.8%) developed a pancreatic fistula. One patient died of multi-organ-failure. All patients were free from symptoms of hyperinsulinism after the surgery and after a median follow-up of 4.5 years.
Conclusions. Based on the experience with 45 patients, surgical removal, aided by pre-operative localization with CT and endoscopic ultrasonography, is an effective and safe treatment for insulinomas.