[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Occult insulinomas remain a clinical challenge. Specifically designed protocols are necessary to aid detection and facilitate a focused pancreatic exploration.
Seventeen non-multiple endocrine neoplasia (non-MEN) patients referred to this medical center in the past 10 years because of equivocal diagnosis, failure of previous operation or difficulty in localization for insulinomas were studied. A routine intra-arterial calcium stimulation test with venous sampling (IACS test) was done for lesion localization. An exploratory laparotomy with intraoperative ultrasound (IOUS) examinations was performed.
Preoperative imaging (sonography, high-resolution computed tomography scan, and magnetic resonance imaging) found six insulinomas, and IOUS found an additional six in the pancreatic regions; all were compatibly indicated by the IACS test. The remaining five patients with occult lesions by IOUS were treated by 40% (1) or 60-70% (4) distal pancreatectomies when insulin gradients were demonstrated on calcium stimulation to the splenic or to the superior mesenteric artery, respectively, and nesidioblastosis was found in each pathology examination. There were no complications related to the arterial stimulation and venous sampling (ASVS) test. No patient had recurrent hyperinsulinism, permanent morbidity, or mortality from surgery.
IACS test helps in the diagnosis of equivocal pancreatogenous hypoglycemia, indicating the pancreatic region of priority exploration and guiding a pancreatic resection.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Noninsulinoma pancreatogenous hypoglycaemia syndrome (NIPHS), characterized by postprandial neuroglycopaenia, negative prolonged fasts and negative perioperative localization studies for insulinoma, but positive selective arterial calcium stimulation tests and nesidioblastosis in the gradient-guided resected pancreas, is a rare hypoglycaemic disorder of undetermined aetiology. We analysed the clinical, morphological and immunohistological features to further clarify the aetiology and pathogenesis of this rare disease.
Ten consecutive patients with NIPHS (nine men and one woman, aged 29-78 years) were included in the study. Six of the 10 received a gradient-guided subtotal (70%) or distal (50%) pancreatectomy. In the remaining four patients, diazoxide treatment was initiated and the precise mechanism of its action was assessed by meal tests.
All of the patients showed a combination of postprandial neuroglycopaenia, negative prolonged fasts (except one patient) and negative localization studies for insulinoma, but positive calcium stimulation tests and nesidioblastosis in the gradient-guided resected pancreas. Immunohistological studies of the resected pancreatic tissues revealed neither an increased rate of proliferation of beta-cells nor an abnormal synthesis and/or processing of either proinsulin or amylin. Evidence of overexpression of the two pancreatic differentiation factors, PDX-1 and Nkx-6.1, as well as the calcium sensing receptor (CaSR) was absent. Nevertheless, abnormal expression of islet neogenesis-associated protein (INGAP), a human cytokine expressed only in the presence of islet neogenesis, in ducts and/or islets, was identified in three of the five patients studied. All of the six patients who received a surgical operation were relieved of further neuroglycopaenic attacks, but one patient who received a subtotal pancreatectomy developed diabetes. In the remaining four patients who received diazoxide treatment, hypoglycaemic episodes were satisfactorily controlled with an attenuated response of beta-cell peptides to meal stimulation.
Our results strengthen the existence of this unique clinical hypoglycaemic syndrome from beta-cell hyperfunction as well as the value of the selective arterial calcium stimulation test in its correct diagnosis and localization. The mechanisms underlying beta-cell hyperfunction and release of insulin to calcium, however, remain poorly characterized. Nevertheless, in a subset of patients with NIPHS, there exists some, as yet undefined, pancreatic humoral/paracrine factor(s) other than proinsulin, amylin, PDX-1, Nkx-6.1 and possibly glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) that are capable of inducing the INGAP gene and, if activated, will initiate ductal proliferation and islet neogenesis. As for the treatment, we recommend that diazoxide be tried first in each patient and, should it fail, a gradient-guided subtotal or distal pancreatectomy be attempted.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The selective intra-arterial calcium stimulation test has greatly facilitated the precise regionalization of insulinomas smaller than 2 cm, which noninvasive techniques (ultrasound [US], computed tomography [CT], magnetic resonance imaging [MRI]) often fail to localize. This study examined not only the role of the test in the localization of insulinomas, but also the responsiveness of 3 beta-cell peptides (insulin, C peptide, and proinsulin) and their relationship to the degree of differentiation of the tumor cells, using percentage decrease of both proinsulin/insulin (P/I) and proinsulin/C peptide (P/C) ratios after stimulation as indices. Ten consecutive surgically proven insulinoma patients each received an injection of calcium into the arteries supplying the pancreas after standard selective angiography and beta-cell peptide levels were measured in samples taken from the right hepatic vein before and 30, 60, 90, 120, and 180 seconds after each injection prior to operation. After surgery, the expressions of the calcium sensing receptor (CaSR) on the resected tumors were assessed by immunohistochemistry. Intra-arterial calcium stimulation with sampling either for insulin or for C peptide correctly predicted the site of insulinoma in 8 of 9 patients or in 7 of 8 patients if the 2 big malignant insulinomas were excluded; thus, the detection rate of this test was 89% and 88%, respectively. Calcium administration stimulated a marked and prompt release of insulin and C peptide simultaneously. Both peaked within 30 to 60 seconds, then declined gradually thereafter, remaining above the baseline at 180 seconds. The magnitude of increase correlated well with the corresponding percentage decrease of P/I and P/C ratios. The response of proinsulin was much less. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated variable membraneous staining for CaSR in normal pancreatic islets and in about 9% of the total normal beta cells, whereas staining in tumor cells was only minimally detectable. We conclude that selective intra-arterial calcium stimulation with hepatic venous sampling either for insulin or for C peptide is a highly sensitive method for the preoperative localization of small insulinomas. Calcium injection stimulates a brisk response of insulin, C peptide, and proinsulin simultaneously and the magnitude of increase of both insulin and C peptide appears to be correlated well with the degree of differentiation of the tumor cells. The exact mechanism by which calcium provokes the release of beta-cell peptides is less clear and whether the CaSR is involved in the mechanism of its action requires further study.