Published: 2020-06-25

You are not yourself when you are hungry: a rare case of malignant insulinoma

Maria Joao Amaral, Henrique Alexandrino, Daniela Meireles, Rui Caetano Oliveira, Marco Serodio, Jose Guilherme Tralhao


We present a rare case of high-grade functional neuroendocrine carcinoma of the pancreas secreting insulin. Our patient, an 80 years old woman, presented with neuropsychiatric symptoms consistent with hypoglycaemia that regressed with food intake and dextrose administration. Abdominal imaging showed a pancreatic tumour with invasion of the spleen and lymph node metastasis, highly suggestive of an insulinoma as the cause of the hypoglycaemia. The patient underwent left pancreatectomy with splenectomy and atypical gastric resection. The postoperative course of our patient was uneventful, with complete remission of the hypoglycaemic episodes, and the definitive histological examination showed three poorly differentiated large cell neuroendocrine carcinomas of the pancreas.


Hypoglycaemia, Neurobehavioral manifestations, Neuroendocrine carcinoma, Insulinoma

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