What is the role of imaging studies in the diagnosis of insulinoma?

Updated: May 31, 2020
  • Author: Zonera Ashraf Ali, MBBS; Chief Editor: Neetu Radhakrishnan, MD  more...
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Answer

Start imaging studies only after the diagnosis has been confirmed biochemically, because 80% of insulinomas are less than 2 cm in size and may not be visible by computed tomography (CT) scanning or transabdominal ultrasonography.

Successful preoperative tumor localization is achieved in about 60% of patients. [28] Some experienced surgeons perform only transabdominal ultrasound preoperatively. Other surgeons argue that the preoperative localization of insulinomas is not necessary at all because surgical exploration and intraoperative ultrasonography identify more than 90% of tumors. [29] Thus, the extent to which one attempts to define the anatomy of the beta cell lesion before surgery is a matter of judgment.


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