Insulinoma is a type of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor which arise from the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas. They are almost always benign (90%), are the most commonly occurring neuroendocrine tumor, and are equally distributed throughout the pancreas parenchyma.
The classic symptom complex is Whipple’s triad – neuromuscular symptoms with fasting or exercise, hypoglycemia, and symptom relief with administration of glucose.
The diagnosis is largely suggested by laboratory studies of hypoglycemia in the setting of hyperinsulinism. Surreptitious insulin administration can be detected by testing for C-peptide levels, which are high in insulinoma and normal if the high insulin levels are secondary to administered doses.
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