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
<bold>Material and methods.</bold> 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.
<bold>Results.</bold> 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.
<bold>Conclusions.</bold> 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.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.