Electrical short-circuit in -cells from a patient with non-insulinoma pancreatogenous hypoglycemic syndrome (NIPHS): A case report

Robert Branstrom, Erik Berglund, Pontus Curman, Lars Forsberg, Anders Hoog, Lars Grimelius, Per Olof Berggren, Per Mattsson, Per Hellman, Lisa Juntti-Berggren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Non-insulinoma pancreatogenous hypoglycemic syndrome is a rare disorder among adults, and, to our knowledge, only about 40 cases have been reported in the literature. Case Presentation: The patient is a previously healthy 35-year-old Caucasian man. His symptoms began four years ago when he suddenly felt weakness in his legs and started sweating for unknown reasons. The symptoms worsened, and laboratory tests revealed hypoglycemia and hyperinsulinemia at the time of the symptoms. All diagnostics attempts using magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, and endoscopic ultrasound did not reveal any abnormalities. At this stage, surgical intervention was planned, and a distal 80% pancreatectomy was performed. The histopathologic and immunohistochemical investigations of the pancreas showed an increased number of islets of different sizes, more or less evenly distributed in the gland, but no insulinoma. Patch-clamp recordings from isolated pancreatic -cells showed that, even at a low glucose concentration (3mmol/L), the -cell membrane was depolarized, and action potentials were seen. Surprisingly, in patch-clamp experiments, the addition of diazoxide had a marked effect on K-ATP channel activity and membrane potential, but no effect on insulin levels in vivo before surgery. Conclusion: This case report adds new information on the pathogenesis of non-insulinoma pancreatogenous hypoglycemic syndrome, as we performed an electrophysiologic characterization of isolated islet cells. We show, for the first time, that -cells isolated from a non-insulinoma pancreatogenous hypoglycemic syndrome patient are constantly depolarized, even at low glucose levels, but display normal K-ATP channel physiology.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Medical Case Reports
StateAccepted/In press - Sep 23 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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