What is included in inpatient care for insulinoma?

Updated: May 31, 2020
  • Author: Zonera Ashraf Ali, MBBS; Chief Editor: Neetu Radhakrishnan, MD  more...
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After insulinoma resection, hyperglycemia may persist for 48-72 hours because of chronic down-regulation of insulin-receptors by the previously high circulating insulin levels secreted by the tumor and the suppression of normal pancreatic B cells. Small subcutaneous doses of insulin every 3-6 hours may be necessary if plasma glucose level exceeds 300 mg/dL (16.7 mmol/L).

Patients with major pancreatic resections may develop diabetes mellitus.

Streptozocin chemotherapy appears to be toxic to cells that produce insulin. For insulinomas, some cases of sustained improvement in hypoglycemic attacks have been reported, particularly when streptozotocin has been used.

Short-acting somatostatin analogues may be tried to control insulin release. In patients with unresectable metastatic disease to the liver, when systemic chemotherapy was unsuccessful, embolization of the hepatic artery and intraarterial chemotherapy may be indicated to control symptoms and hormone release, to inhibit tumor growth, and to improve survival. [62]

New therapy is currently under investigation. OctreoTher consists of a somatostatin peptide analogue, labeled with a beta-emitter (yttrium-90). OctreoTher binds to somatostatin receptor 2 and 3, has a mean path length of 5 mm, and a physical half-life of 64.1 hours. By targeting somatostatin-receptor–positive tumors (imaged by scan), it may deliver a local tumoricidal dose of radiation. [63]

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