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Print version ISSN 0121-0793


TOBON-OSPINA, Catalina et al. Description of the experience with patients with insulinoma diagnosis. Multicentric study in Medellín, Colombia. Iatreia [online]. 2020, vol.33, n.2, pp.133-142. ISSN 0121-0793.


The objective of the study was to describe the characteristics of patients with insulinoma in three hospitals in Medellín, Colombia, between 2002 and 2017.


A retrospective analysis of patients with hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia and histologic confirmation of insulinoma was conducted.


A total of 19 cases were identified. Ten women (52.6 %) and 9 males (47.4 %). The mean age at diagnosis was 43 years (S.D: 15.5). Four cases had multifocal insulinoma (21.1%), 3 cases were secondary to multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (15.8 %), and 2 of them were malignant (10.6 %). All patients presented fasting hypo-glycemia, and 63.2% presented post-prandial hypoglycemia. Glucose nadir in the fasting test occurred in the first 48 hours in all cases, with a mean time to hypoglycemia of 9 hours (S.D 8.0). The biochemical diagnosis was done with increased insulin in the presence of hypoglycemia. C-peptide was done in 9 patients (47.3 %), and sulfonylureas in 2 cases (11.1 %). Preoperative localization was done by imaging in 12 cases (68.5 %), and invasive tests were required in 6 cases (31.5 %). Localization tests were positive as follows: magnetic resonance imaging in 83%, endoscopic ultrasound in 50%, selective intra-arterial calcium injection in 50 %, and intraoperative ultrasound in 100%. Eighteen patients (94. 7%) underwent surgery. Mortality (15.8 %) was secondary to early post-operative complications.


The characteristics of patients with insulinoma in Medellín are similar to other series. However, there are important local limitations for proper biochemical testing and imaging localization. This is the largest study in our country.

Keywords : Hyperinsulinism; Hypoglycemia; Insulinoma; Neuroendocrine Tumors; Pancreas.

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