Rapid intraoperative insulin assay: a novel method to differentiate insulinoma from nesidioblastosis in the pediatric patient

Strong, Vivian E.; Shifrin, Alexander; Inabnet, William B.

Introduction: Hyperinsulinism is the most common cause of recurrent and persistent hypoglycemia in infancy and childhood. Causes can include nesidioblastosis, pancreatic islet cell tumors such as insulinoma, and associations with multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes. Although new, improved imaging techniques have allowed for more precise preoperative localization of insulinomas, the differentiation of nesidioblastosis and insulinoma, particularly in children, can be challenging. To improve intraoperative localization and confirmation of successful resection of insulinoma, a novel hormonal assay, the rapid intraoperative insulin assay, is reported for the first time in a pediatric patient. This intraoperative radioimmunoassay for insulin yields results within several minutes and confirms complete resection of insulinoma. Case description: We present a case of pancreatic insulinoma in a child with symptoms of severe hypoglycemia, causing seizures. The insulinoma was enucleated laparoscopically, and rapid intra-operative insulin assay used to determine the success of the procedure. Discussion and evaluation: This rapid intra-operative test provides a valuable adjunct for determining complete excision in complicated cases of recurrent or questionable insulinoma. Although not a common problem, for pediatric patients in whom the diagnosis is not clear, this test may provide a novel approach to confirming disease. Conclusion: We propose the use of this assay in facilitating intra-operative resection and confirmation of complete excision in pediatric patients. This population may especially benefit from this novel assay to confirm complete resection and to differentiate multiple etiologies of hyperinsulinism.


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Annals of Surgical Innovation and Research

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September 9, 2014