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Ann Endocrinol (Paris). 2009 Sep;70 Suppl 1:S2-11. doi: 10.1016/S0003-4266(09)72470-9.

[Hypoglycemia and insulinoma].

[Article in French]

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Hôpitaux de Paris, Service d'Endocrinologie et des Maladies de la Reproduction, Hôpital de Bicêtre et Faculté de Médicine Paris-Sud, Université Paris Sud 11, 78, rue du Général Leclerc, 94275 Le Kremlin Bicêtre, France.


Insulinomas are rare causes of hypoglycemia. After having ruled out non insulinomatous causes of hypoglycemia in a patient in whom Whipple's triad is documented, hyperinsulinism must be demonstrated biochemically, either during a spontaneous hypoglycemic episode or, more often, during a supervised fast which may be prolonged up to 72 h. A mixed-meal test may also help to diagnose the very rare cases of postprandial hypoglycemia related to non insulinoma pancreatogenic hypoglycemic syndrome (NIPHS) or to some rare insulinomas. Only when diagnosis of hypoglycemic hyperinsulinism is made, the tumor localization process may be initiated. This may be difficult due to the small size of insulinomas (generally < 1 cm). Multimodal approach is necessary. The association of endoscopic ultrasound and CT-scan or MRI seems optimal. Octreoscan will be also performed. First results with a very new technique, the GLP-1 receptor imaging, are promising for localizing very small tumors. This localization aims to allow a sparing surgery; enucleation of benign tumors, if possible, allows a pancreatic tissue preservation in patients with quite normal survival.

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