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World J Surg. 1994 Jul-Aug;18(4):488-93; discussion 493-4.

Surgical management of insulinoma associated with multiple endocrine neoplasia type I.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.


Insulinoma in patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) is a rare condition that because of its usual multicentricity presents difficulties not encountered in sporadic patients. In contrast to gastrinoma, which is the most common pancreatic neoplasm associated with MEN I, malignancy and duodenal tumors are much less common for patients with insulinomas, and excellent palliative medication is not available. Accordingly, there is a much greater reliance on surgical therapy for this group of patients. Between 1970 and 1991 a total of 19 patients had surgical treatment of MEN I-related insulinoma. Each patient had hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia. One patient, with extensive metastases, had unresectable disease. Of the remaining 18, there were 16 (89%) multiple pancreatic tumors. Tumors were located in the neck, body, or tail in 17 cases, 10 of whom also had tumors in the head. Pancreatic resections performed were 1 total, 12 subtotal (7 also had enucleation of tumors from the pancreatic head), and 5 limited distal resections and/or enucleation (conservative resection). There was no operative mortality. One patient developed pancreatitis, fistula, and diabetes following subtotal resection and enucleation. Postoperative cure was achieved in 17 of 18 cases. Recurrent disease occurred in 2 of 5 conservative resections compared to 0 of 12 subtotal resections, with median follow-up times of 10.4 and 10.3 years, respectively. During the follow-up period, four patients died, possibly all due to MEN I-related conditions. Hyperinsulinism in MEN I is associated with the occurrence of multiple, usually benign, pancreatic islet cell tumors, and surgery is an effective treatment modality.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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