What are glucagonomas?

Updated: Jul 24, 2019
  • Author: Cory Wilczynski, MD; Chief Editor: Eric B Staros, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

A glucagonoma is a glucagon-secreting tumor associated with mild diabetes, stomatitis, anemia, malnutrition, hypoproteinemia, and characteristic dermatitis (necrolytic migratory erythema). The diagnosis is confirmed via the presence of a fasting glucagon level elevated to over 150 pg/mL, hyperglycemia, and hypoproteinemia. The tumors are usually solitary and located in the tail of the pancreas. At the time of diagnosis, up to 70% of these tumors have a metastatic presentation; surgery offers the only potential cure. [1]

Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 includes glucagonoma as a component. The tumors of this syndrome occur in the parathyroid glands, the pancreas, and the anterior pituitary gland. [5]


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