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World J Surg. 1993 Jul-Aug;17(4):489-97.

Current approach to the management of gastrinoma and insulinoma in adults with multiple endocrine neoplasia type I.

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Department of Hepato-Gastroenterology, Hôpital Bichat-Claude Bernard University, Paris, France.


The difficult and controversial diagnostic and therapeutic management of patients having gastrinoma or insulinoma with multiple endocrine neoplasia type I (MEN-I) has been discussed by reference to the literature and a personal series of 45 gastrinoma/MEN-I patients followed consecutively at Bichat Hospital. In both gastrinoma/ and insulinoma/MEN-I patients, anatomic distribution and morphology of tumoral process(es) are usually multiple, diffuse, of small size, and associated with endocrine cell hyperplasia and even nesidioblastosis. These features enhance the difficulty of tumor localization and eradication. Despite the dramatic development of modern medical imagery and surgical experience, the real possibility, on a long-term basis, of curing the patients from their disease remains limited, especially in the gastrinoma/MEN-I patients. In the latter group, according to our experience, persistence or recurrence of the disease after surgery is usual, and metachronous hepatic metastasis development is frequently observed when the follow-up is long enough. Patients with liver metastases, however, seem to undergo a more indolent course than sporadic gastrinoma cases. In insulinoma/MEN-I patients, removal of the functionally dominant islet cell area(s) is essential. Various preoperative and intraoperative localization techniques allow efficacious selective pancreatic surgery in many cases. The latter refinements and the promises of long-acting somatostatin analogs, if confirmed, might restrict to exceptional circumstances the indication of near-total or total pancreatectomy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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