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J Endocrinol Invest. 2007 May;30(5):421-7.

A non-acromegalic case of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 accompanied by a growth hormone-releasing hormone-producing pancreatic tumor.

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Department of Medicine, Nippon Medical School, Sendagi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan.


Cases of acromegaly due to GHRHproducing pancreatic endocrine tumors have been reported. Here we present a case of a 31-yr-old nonacromegalic man with hyperparathyroidism and elevated serum IGF-I with normal serum GH levels. Serum GH was not suppressed below 1 ng/ml by the glucose tolerance test and increased in response to TR H and GHRH administration. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed pituitary hyperplasia and an abdominal computed tomography (CT ) scan showed a tumor in the pancreatic tail. Plasma concentration of GHRH was elevated. Based on these clinical data, multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) type 1 was suspected. Three enlarged parathyroid glands were removed and a distal pancreatectomy was performed. Pathological examination of the parathyroid glands and pancreatic tumor showed nodular hyperplasia and a well-differentiated endocrine tumor, respectively, both compatible with MEN features. Immunohistochemistry revealed positive immunoreactivity for GHRH, SS , insulin, glucagon, chromogranin A, and pancreatic polypeptide in the pancreatic tumor. After pancreatic surgery, elevated levels of GHRH and IGF-I were normalized and pituitary hyperplasia definitely decreased in size. In cases of pituitary hyperplasia with elevated IGF-I, ectopic GHRH syndrome must be considered even if physical features of acromegaly are absent. It is also important to measure plasma GHRH concentrations in order to give a diagnosis.

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