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Intra-operative blood glucose and serum insulin concentrations in the surgical management of insulinoma.
  1. A. J. Krentz,
  2. P. J. Hale,
  3. R. M. Baddeley,
  4. A. C. Williams,
  5. M. Natrass
  1. General Hospital, Birmingham, UK.


    The surgical management of insulinoma is frequently complicated by difficulty in pre- and intra-operative localization of the tumour. An early and reliable post-operative indicator of successful surgery would therefore be useful in the management of this condition. In a prospective, controlled study serial measurements of blood glucose and serum insulin concentrations were performed in 5 patients with insulinoma during surgical removal of the tumour. Results were compared with 5 patients, matched for age and body weight, undergoing abdominal surgery for non-malignant disease. Serum insulin (mean +/- s.e.m.) was significantly elevated in the insulinoma patients at the start of surgery (32.1 +/- 3.1 vs 6.1 +/- 2.2 mU/l; P less than 0.01). A significant fall (P less than 0.01) to levels comparable with the control patients (7.5 +/- 1.8 vs 10.0 +/- 3.3 mU/l) occurred following removal of the tumour. We conclude that serial intra-operative measurements of serum insulin concentration are technically simple to perform and provide useful retrospective corroboration of successful surgery in patients with insulinoma.

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