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Daphne Yau Departments of Paediatric Endocrinology, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Manchester, UK

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Maria Salomon-Estebanez Departments of Paediatric Endocrinology, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Manchester, UK

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Amish Chinoy Departments of Paediatric Endocrinology, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Manchester, UK

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John Grainger Departments of Paediatric Haematology, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Manchester, UK

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Ross J Craigie Departments of Paediatric Surgery, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Manchester, UK

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Raja Padidela Departments of Paediatric Endocrinology, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Manchester, UK

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Mars Skae Departments of Paediatric Endocrinology, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Manchester, UK

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Mark J Dunne Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

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Philip G Murray Departments of Paediatric Endocrinology, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Manchester, UK

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Indraneel Banerjee Departments of Paediatric Endocrinology, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Manchester, UK

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Summary

Congenital hyperinsulinism (CHI) is an important cause of severe hypoglycaemia in infancy. To correct hypoglycaemia, high concentrations of dextrose are often required through a central venous catheter (CVC) with consequent risk of thrombosis. We describe a series of six cases of CHI due to varying aetiologies from our centre requiring CVC for the management of hypoglycaemia, who developed thrombosis in association with CVC. We subsequently analysed the incidence and risk factors for CVC-associated thrombosis, as well as the outcomes of enoxaparin prophylaxis. The six cases occurred over a 3-year period; we identified an additional 27 patients with CHI who required CVC insertion during this period (n = 33 total), and a separate cohort of patients with CHI and CVC who received enoxaparin prophylaxis (n = 7). The incidence of CVC-associated thrombosis was 18% (6/33) over the 3 years, a rate of 4.2 thromboses/1000 CVC days. There was no difference in the frequency of genetic mutations or focal CHI in those that developed thromboses. However, compound heterozygous/homozygous potassium ATP channel mutations correlated with thrombosis (R 2 = 0.40, P = 0.001). No difference was observed in CVC duration, high concentration dextrose or glucagon infused through the CVC. In patients receiving enoxaparin prophylaxis, none developed thrombosis or bleeding complications. The characteristics of these patients did not differ significantly from those with thrombosis not on prophylaxis. We therefore conclude that CVC-associated thrombosis can occur in a significant proportion (18%) of patients with CHI, particularly in severe CHI, for which anticoagulant prophylaxis may be indicated.

Learning points:

  • CVC insertion is one of the most significant risk factors for thrombosis in the paediatric population.

  • Risk factors for CVC-associated thrombosis include increased duration of CVC placement, malpositioning and infusion of blood products.

  • To our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate CVC-associated thrombosis in patients with congenital hyperinsulinism (CHI).

  • The incidence of CVC-associated thrombosis development is significant (18%) in CHI patients and higher compared to other neonates with CVC. CHI severity may be a risk factor for thrombosis development.

  • Although effective prophylaxis for CVC-associated thrombosis in infancy is yet to be established, our preliminary experience suggests the safety and efficacy of enoxoaparin prophylaxis in this population and requires on-going evaluation.

Open access
Ved Bhushan Arya Department of Paediatric Endocrinology, Variety Club Children’s Hospital, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK

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Jennifer Kalitsi Department of Paediatric Endocrinology, Variety Club Children’s Hospital, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK

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Ann Hickey Department of Neonatology, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK

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Sarah E Flanagan Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Science, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK

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Ritika R Kapoor Department of Paediatric Endocrinology, Variety Club Children’s Hospital, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK

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Summary

Diazoxide is the first-line treatment for patients with hyperinsulinaemic hypoglycaemia (HH). Approximately 50% of patients with HH are diazoxide resistant. However, marked diazoxide sensitivity resulting in severe hyperglycaemia is extremely uncommon and not reported previously in the context of HH due to HNF4A mutation. We report a novel observation of exceptional diazoxide sensitivity in a patient with HH due to HNF4A mutation. A female infant presented with severe persistent neonatal hypoglycaemia and was diagnosed with HH. Standard doses of diazoxide (5 mg/kg/day) resulted in marked hyperglycaemia (maximum blood glucose 21.6 mmol/L) necessitating discontinuation of diazoxide. Lower dose of diazoxide (1.5 mg/kg/day) successfully controlled HH in the proband, which was subsequently confirmed to be due to a novel HNF4A mutation. At 3 years of age, the patient maintains age appropriate fasting tolerance on low dose diazoxide (1.8 mg/kg/day) and has normal development. Diagnosis in proband’s mother and maternal aunt, both of whom carried HNF4A mutation and had been diagnosed with presumed type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus, respectively, was revised to maturity-onset diabetes of young (MODY). Proband’s 5-year-old maternal cousin, also carrier of HNF4A mutation, had transient neonatal hypoglycaemia. To conclude, patients with HH due to HNF4A mutation may require lower diazoxide than other group of patients with HH. Educating the families about the risk of marked hyperglycaemia with diazoxide is essential. The clinical phenotype of HNF4A mutation can be extremely variable.

Learning points:

  • Awareness of risk of severe hyperglycaemia with diazoxide is important and patients/families should be accordingly educated.

  • Some patients with HH due to HNF4A mutations may require lower than standard doses of diazoxide.

  • The clinical phenotype of HNF4A mutation can be extremely variable.

Open access
Saurabh Uppal Departments of Paediatric Endocrinology, Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK

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James Blackburn Departments of Paediatric Endocrinology, Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK

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Mohammed Didi Departments of Paediatric Endocrinology, Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK

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Rajeev Shukla Departments of Pathology, Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK

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James Hayden Departments of Oncology, Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK

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Senthil Senniappan Departments of Paediatric Endocrinology, Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK
Institute of Child Health, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK

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Summary

Beckwith–Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) can be associated with embryonal tumours and congenital hyperinsulinism (CHI). We present an infant with BWS who developed congenital hepatoblastoma and Wilms’ tumour during infancy. The infant presented with recurrent hypoglycaemia requiring high intravenous glucose infusion and was biochemically confirmed to have CHI. He was resistant to diazoxide but responded well to octreotide and was switched to Lanreotide at 1 year of age. Genetic analysis for mutations of ABCC8 and KCNJ11 were negative. He had clinical features suggestive of BWS. Methylation-sensitive multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification revealed hypomethylation at KCNQ1OT1:TSS-DMR and hypermethylation at H19 /IGF2:IG-DMR consistent with mosaic UPD(11p15). Hepatoblastoma was detected on day 4 of life, which was resistant to chemotherapy, requiring surgical resection. He developed Wilms’ tumour at 3 months of age, which also showed poor response to induction chemotherapy with vincristine and actinomycin D. Surgical resection of Wilms’ tumour was followed by post-operative chemotherapy intensified with cycles containing cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, carboplatin and etoposide, in addition to receiving flank radiotherapy. We report, for the first time, an uncommon association of hepatoblastoma and Wilms’ tumour in BWS in early infancy. Early onset tumours may show resistance to chemotherapy. UPD(11p15) is likely associated with persistent CHI in BWS.

Learning points:

  • Long-acting somatostatin analogues are effective in managing persistent CHI in BWS.

  • UPD(11)pat genotype may be a pointer to persistent and severe CHI.

  • Hepatoblastoma and Wilms’ tumour may have an onset within early infancy and early tumour surveillance is essential.

  • Tumours associated with earlier onset may be resistant to recognised first-line chemotherapy.

Open access
Sarah Kiff Department of Paediatric Endocrinology, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, UK
Department of Endocrinology, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh, UK

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Carolyn Babb Department of Paediatric Endocrinology, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, UK

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Maria Guemes Department of Paediatric Endocrinology, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, UK
Genetics and Genomic Medicine Programme, Great Institute of Child Health, University College London, London, UK

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Antonia Dastamani Department of Paediatric Endocrinology, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, UK

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Clare Gilbert Department of Paediatric Endocrinology, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, UK

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Sarah E Flanagan Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Science, University of Exeter Medical School, Exeter, UK

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Sian Ellard Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Science, University of Exeter Medical School, Exeter, UK

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John Barton Department of Paediatric Endocrinology, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Bristol, UK

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M Dattani Department of Paediatric Endocrinology, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, UK
Genetics and Genomic Medicine Programme, Great Institute of Child Health, University College London, London, UK

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Pratik Shah Department of Paediatric Endocrinology, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, UK
Genetics and Genomic Medicine Programme, Great Institute of Child Health, University College London, London, UK

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Summary

We report a case of partial diazoxide responsiveness in a child with severe congenital hyperinsulinaemic hypoglycaemia (CHI) due to a homozygous ABCC8 mutation. A term baby, with birth weight 3.8 kg, born to consanguineous parents presented on day 1 of life with hypoglycaemia. Hypoglycaemia screen confirmed CHI. Diazoxide was commenced on day 7 due to ongoing elevated glucose requirements (15 mg/kg/min), but despite escalation to a maximum dose (15 mg/kg/day), intravenous (i.v.) glucose requirement remained high (13 mg/kg/min). Genetic testing demonstrated a homozygous ABCC8 splicing mutation (c.2041-1G>C), consistent with a diffuse form of CHI. Diazoxide treatment was therefore stopped and subcutaneous (s.c.) octreotide infusion commenced. Despite this, s.c. glucagon and i.v. glucose were required to prevent hypoglycaemia. A trial of sirolimus and near-total pancreatectomy were considered, however due to the significant morbidity potentially associated with these, a further trial of diazoxide was commenced at 1.5 months of age. At a dose of 10 mg/kg/day of diazoxide and 40 µg/kg/day of octreotide, both i.v. glucose and s.c. glucagon were stopped as normoglycaemia was achieved. CHI due to homozygous ABCC8 mutation poses management difficulties if the somatostatin analogue octreotide is insufficient to prevent hypoglycaemia. Diazoxide unresponsiveness is often thought to be a hallmark of recessively inherited ABCC8 mutations. This patient was initially thought to be non-responsive, but this case highlights that a further trial of diazoxide is warranted, where other available treatments are associated with significant risk of morbidity.

Learning points:

  • Homozygous ABCC8 mutations are commonly thought to cause diazoxide non-responsive hyperinsulinaemic hypoglycaemia.

  • This case highlights that partial diazoxide responsiveness in homozygous ABCC8 mutations may be present.

  • Trial of diazoxide treatment in combination with octreotide is warranted prior to considering alternative treatments, such as sirolimus or near-total pancreatectomy, which are associated with more significant side effects.

Open access
Maria Cabrer Endocrine Unit, Hospital Comarcal d’Inca, Inca, Spain

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Guillermo Serra Endocrine Unit, Hospital Universitari Son Espases, Palma, Spain

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María Soledad Gogorza Endocrine Unit, Hospital Universitari Son Espases, Palma, Spain

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Vicente Pereg Endocrine Unit, Hospital Universitari Son Espases, Palma, Spain

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Summary

Chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS) is a genetic syndrome that may present with hypocalcemia due to primary hypoparathyroidism (PH) at any age. We report a new diagnosis of 22q11.2DS in a 57-year-old man who presented with symptomatic hypocalcemia. It is important to consider genetic causes of hypocalcemia due to PH regardless of age.

Learning points:

  • It is important to discard genetic cause of primary hypoparathyroidism in a patient without autoimmune disease or prior neck surgery.

  • A new diagnosis of a hereditary disease has familial implications and needs genetic counselling.

  • It is also important to discard other syndrome’s comorbidities.

Open access
Dinesh Giri Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK

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Prashant Patil Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK

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Rachel Hart Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK

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Mohammed Didi Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK

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Senthil Senniappan Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK

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Summary

Poland syndrome (PS) is a rare congenital condition, affecting 1 in 30 000 live births worldwide, characterised by a unilateral absence of the sternal head of the pectoralis major and ipsilateral symbrachydactyly occasionally associated with abnormalities of musculoskeletal structures. A baby girl, born at 40 weeks’ gestation with birth weight of 3.33 kg (−0.55 SDS) had typical phenotypical features of PS. She had recurrent hypoglycaemic episodes early in life requiring high concentration of glucose and glucagon infusion. The diagnosis of congenital hyperinsulinism (CHI) was biochemically confirmed by inappropriately high plasma concentrations of insulin and C-peptide and low plasma free fatty acids and β-hydroxyl butyrate concentrations during hypoglycaemia. Sequencing of ABCC8, KCNJ11 and HNF4A did not show any pathogenic mutation. Microarray analysis revealed a novel duplication in the short arm of chromosome 10 at 10p13–14 region. This is the first reported case of CHI in association with PS and 10p duplication. We hypothesise that the HK1 located on the chromosome 10 encoding hexokinase-1 is possibly linked to the pathophysiology of CHI.

Learning points:

  • Congenital hyperinsulinism (CHI) is known to be associated with various syndromes.

  • This is the first reported association of CHI and Poland syndrome (PS) with duplication in 10p13–14.

  • A potential underlying genetic link between 10p13–14 duplication, PS and CHI is a possibility.

Open access
Katia Regina Marchetti Department of General Medicine

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Maria Adelaide Albergaria Pereira Department of Endocrinology, Clinics Hospital, University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil

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Arnaldo Lichtenstein Department of General Medicine

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Edison Ferreira Paiva Department of General Medicine

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Summary

Adrenacarcinomas are rare, and hypoglycemic syndrome resulting from the secretion of insulin-like growth factor II (IGF-II) by these tumors have been described infrequently. This study describes the case of a young woman with severe persistent hypoglycemia and a large adrenal tumor and discusses the physiopathological mechanisms involved in hypoglycemia. The case is described as a 21-year-old woman who presented with 8 months of general symptoms and, in the preceding 3 months, with episodes of mental confusion and visual blurring secondary to hypoglycemia. A functional assessment of the adrenal cortex revealed ACTH-independent hypercortisolism and hyperandrogenism. Hypoglycemia, hypoinsulinemia, low C-peptide and no ketones were also detected. An evaluation of the GH–IGF axis revealed GH blockade (0.03; reference: up to 4.4 ng/mL), greatly reduced IGF-I levels (9.0 ng/mL; reference: 180–780 ng/mL), slightly reduced IGF-II levels (197 ng/mL; reference: 267–616 ng/mL) and an elevated IGF-II/IGF-I ratio (21.9; reference: ~3). CT scan revealed a large expansive mass in the right adrenal gland and pulmonary and liver metastases. During hospitalization, the patient experienced frequent difficult-to-control hypoglycemia and hypokalemia episodes. Octreotide was ineffective in controlling hypoglycemia. Due to unresectability, chemotherapy was tried, but after 3 months, the patient’s condition worsened and progressed to death. In conclusion, our patient presented with a functional adrenal cortical carcinoma, with hyperandrogenism associated with hypoinsulinemic hypoglycemia and blockage of the GH–IGF-I axis. Patient’s data suggested a diagnosis of hypoglycemia induced by an IGF-II or a large IGF-II-producing tumor (low levels of GH, greatly decreased IGF-I, slightly decreased IGF-II and an elevated IGF-II/IGF-I ratio).

Learning points:

  • Hypoglycemyndrome resulting from the secretion of insulin-like growth factor II (IGF-II) by adrenal tumors is a rare condition.

  • Hypoinsulinemic hypoglycemia associated with hyperandrogenism and blockage of the GH–IGF-I axis suggests hypoglycemia induced by an IGF-II or a large IGF-II-producing tumor.

  • Hypoglycemia in cases of NICTH should be treated with glucocorticoids, glucagon, somatostatin analogs and hGH.

Open access
G K Dimitriadis Warwick Institute for the Study of Endocrinology Diabetes and Metabolism (WISDEM Centre), The Arden NET Centre, University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire, UHCW NHS Trust, ENETS CoE, Coventry, UK
Division of Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Campus, London, UK
Division of Translational and Systems Medicine, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK

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K Gopalakrishnan Department of Histopathology, Coventry and Warwickshire, Pathology Service, UHCW NHS Trust, Coventry, UK

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R Rao Warwick Institute for the Study of Endocrinology Diabetes and Metabolism (WISDEM Centre), The Arden NET Centre, University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire, UHCW NHS Trust, ENETS CoE, Coventry, UK

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D K Grammatopoulos Division of Translational and Systems Medicine, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
Department of Clinical Biochemistry and Histopathology, Coventry and Warwickshire, Pathology Service, UHCW NHS Trust, Coventry, UK

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H S Randeva Warwick Institute for the Study of Endocrinology Diabetes and Metabolism (WISDEM Centre), The Arden NET Centre, University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire, UHCW NHS Trust, ENETS CoE, Coventry, UK
Division of Translational and Systems Medicine, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK

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M O Weickert Warwick Institute for the Study of Endocrinology Diabetes and Metabolism (WISDEM Centre), The Arden NET Centre, University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire, UHCW NHS Trust, ENETS CoE, Coventry, UK

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N Murthy Warwick Institute for the Study of Endocrinology Diabetes and Metabolism (WISDEM Centre), The Arden NET Centre, University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire, UHCW NHS Trust, ENETS CoE, Coventry, UK

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Summary

We report the case of a 70-year-old previously healthy female who presented acutely to the Accident and Emergency department with left-sided vasomotor symptoms including reduced muscle tone, weakness upon walking and slurred speech. Physical examination confirmed hemiparesis with VIIth nerve palsy and profound hepatomegaly. A random glucose was low at 1.7 mmol/l, which upon correction resolved her symptoms. In hindsight, the patient recalled having had similar episodes periodically over the past 3 months to which she did not give much attention. While hospitalized, she continued having episodes of symptomatic hypoglycaemia during most nights, requiring treatment with i.v. dextrose and/or glucagon. Blood tests including insulin and C-peptide were invariably suppressed, in correlation with low glucose. A Synacthen stimulation test was normal (Cort (0′) 390 nmol/l, Cort (30′) 773 nmol/l). A computed tomography scan showed multiple lobulated masses in the abdomen, liver and pelvis. An ultrasound guided biopsy of one of the pelvic masses was performed. Immunohistochemistry supported the diagnosis of a gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST) positive for CD34 and CD117. A diagnosis of a non islet cell tumour hypoglycaemia (NICTH) secondary to an IGF2 secreting GIST was confirmed with further biochemical investigations (IGF2=96.5 nmol/l; IGF2:IGF1 ratio 18.9, ULN <10). Treatment with growth hormone resolved the patient's hypoglycaemic symptoms and subsequent targeted therapy with Imatinib was successful in controlling disease progression over an 8-year observation period.

Learning points

  • NICTH can be a rare complication of GISTs that may manifest with severe hypoglycaemia and neuroglucopenic symptoms.

  • NICTH can masquerade as other pathologies thus causing diagnostic confusion.

  • Histological confirmation of GIST induced NICTH and exclusion of other conditions causing hypoglycaemia is essential.

  • Mutational analysis of GISTs should be carried out in all cases as it guides treatment decision.

  • Tailored management of hypoglycaemia, in this case using growth hormone and targeted cyto-reductive therapy, minimizes the risk of possible life-threatening complications.

Open access
Sally K Abell Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, St Vincent's Hospital, PO Box 2900, Fitzroy, Melbourne, 3065 Victoria, Australia

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Jessie Teng Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, St Vincent's Hospital, PO Box 2900, Fitzroy, Melbourne, 3065 Victoria, Australia

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Anthony Dowling Department of Oncology, St Vincent's Hospital, PO Box 2900, Fitzroy, Melbourne, 3065 Victoria, Australia

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Michael S Hofman Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Molecular Imaging, Centre for Cancer Imaging, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, East Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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Richard J MacIsaac Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, St Vincent's Hospital, PO Box 2900, Fitzroy, Melbourne, 3065 Victoria, Australia
Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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Nirupa Sachithanandan Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, St Vincent's Hospital, PO Box 2900, Fitzroy, Melbourne, 3065 Victoria, Australia

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Summary

This paper details the case of a 77-year-old male with refractory hypoglycaemia due to inoperable metastatic pancreatic neuroendocrine tumour (pNET) co-secreting insulin and gastrin. Multiple medical therapies were trialled with limited success, and we describe the complications experienced by our patient. Somatostatin analogues can ameliorate hypoglycaemia and may have tumour-stabilising effects; however, in our case resulted in paradoxical worsening of hypoglycaemia. This rendered our patient hospital dependent for glycaemic support including continuous dextrose infusion. Although this is a reported adverse effect with initiation of therapy, we describe successful initiation of short-acting octreotide as an inpatient followed by commencement of long-acting octreotide. Hypoglycaemic collapse occurred only after dose titration of long-acting octreotide. We outline the pitfalls of somatostatin analogue therapy and the mechanisms that may contribute to worsening hypoglycaemia. This rare side effect cannot be reliably predicted, necessitating close supervision and glucose monitoring during therapy. Our patient achieved disease stabilisation and gradual resolution of hypoglycaemia with peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT), an emerging therapeutic option for metastatic neuroendocrine tumours with high efficacy and low toxicity. We present a brief but comprehensive discussion of currently available and novel therapies for insulin secreting pNETs.

Learning points

  • Hypoglycaemia due to malignant insulin secreting pNET is frequently severe and may be life-threatening despite supportive therapies.

  • Octreotide can ameliorate hypoglycaemia, and may have anti-proliferative and tumour-stabilising effects in malignant pNETs that are surgically unresectable.

  • Paradoxical worsening of hypoglycaemia may occur with octreotide initiation and dose titration, necessitating close supervision and glucose monitoring.

  • PRRT is emerging as a therapeutic option with high efficacy and low toxicity.

Open access
Chiara Baratelli Dipartimento di Oncologia, Oncologia Medica

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Maria Pia Brizzi Dipartimento di Oncologia, Oncologia Medica

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Marco Tampellini Dipartimento di Oncologia, Oncologia Medica

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Giorgio Vittorio Scagliotti Dipartimento di Oncologia, Oncologia Medica

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Adriano Priola SCDU Radiologia

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Massimo Terzolo Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche e Biologiche, Medicina Interna, Università di Torino, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria San Luigi Gonzaga, Regione Gonzole 10, 10043 Orbassano, Italy

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Anna Pia Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche e Biologiche, Medicina Interna, Università di Torino, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria San Luigi Gonzaga, Regione Gonzole 10, 10043 Orbassano, Italy

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Alfredo Berruti Dipartimento di Specialità Medico-Chirurgiche, Scienze Radiologiche e Sanità Pubblica Università di Brescia, Oncologia Medica, Azienda Ospedaliera Spedali Civili, Brescia, Italy

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Summary

Insulinoma is a rare form of insulin-secreting pancreatic islet cell neuroendocrine (NE) tumor. The medical treatment of the malignant NE disease of the pancreas deeply changed in the last years, thanks to the introduction of new target molecules, as everolimus. Even if the exact mechanism is not actually known, one of the side effects of everolimus, hyperglycemia, has been demonstrated to be useful to contrast the typical hypoglycemia of the insulinoma. We report the case of a patient with a metastatic malignant insulinoma treated with intermittent everolimus, obtaining an important improvement in the quality of life; this suggests the necessity of preclinical studies to analyze the cellular pathways involved in insulin-independent gluconeogenesis.

Learning points

  • Effect of somatostatin analogs is long-lasting in the control of functioning NE tumors.

  • Persistent everolimus control of hypoglycemia despite serum insulin levels and disease progression.

  • Open issue: are disease progression and the increase in serum markers the only valid criteria to reject a treatment?

Open access