Rapid insulin assay for intraoperative confirmation of complete resection of insulinomas

Denise M. Carneiro, Joe U. Levi, George L. Irvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Background. Solitary insulinomas are usually the cause of organic hypoglycemia, whereas 13% to 24% of patients with hyperinsulinemia have multiple tumors or nesidioblastosis. Intraoperative glucose levels confirming complete excision have variable accuracy. Intraoperative insulin levels have been shown to predict operative outcome. The purpose of this study was to establish criteria for predicting operative success by using a new, rapid insulin assay as an intraoperative adjunct. Methods. Eight consecutive patients with organic hypoglycemia underwent pancreatic exploration. With an 8-minute immunochemiluminescent insulin assay, peripheral blood levels were obtained preoperatively, during resection, and at 5-minute intervals after surgical excisions. Operative findings and outcome were compared with intraoperative insulin/glucose ratios (I/G), glucose, and insulin levels. Results. By using the return of insulin levels to normal range and I/G ratios ≤ 0.4 15 minutes after tumor(s) resection as criteria to predict operative success, 6 patients had their outcomes correctly predicted (5 true-positive and 1 true-negative). One patient with nesidioblastosis had a false-negative result. One could not be evaluated because of diazoxide medication. These criteria predicted postoperative absence of hypoglycemia with specificity of 100% and accuracy of 89%. Conclusions. These 8-minute insulin assay and criteria can be a useful adjunct for intraoperative assurance of complete insulinoma resection and prediction of postoperative outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)937-943
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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