Localization of insulinomas to regions of the pancreas by intraarterial calcium stimulation: The NIH experience

Jean Marc Guettier, Anthony Kam, Richard Chang, Monica C. Skarulis, Craig Cochran, H. Richard Alexander, Steven K. Libutti, James F. Pingpank, Phillip Gorden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations


Context: Selective intraarterial calcium injection of the major pancreatic arteries with hepatic venous sampling [calcium arterial stimulation (CaStim)] has been used as a localizing tool for insulinomas at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 1989. The accuracy of this technique for localizing insulinomas was reported for all cases until 1996. Objectives: The aim of the study was to assess the accuracy and track record of the CaStim overtime and in the context of evolving technology and to review issues related to result interpretation and procedure complications. CaStim was the only invasive preoperative localization modality used at our center. Endoscopic ultrasound (US) was not studied. Design and Setting: We conducted a retrospective case review at a referral center. Patients: Twenty-nine women and 16 men (mean age, 47 yr; range, 13-78) were diagnosed with an insulinoma from 1996-2008. Intervention: A supervised fast was conducted to confirm the diagnosis of insulinoma. US, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and CaStim were used as preoperative localization studies. Localization predicted by each preoperative test was compared to surgical localization for accuracy. Main Outcome: We measured the accuracy of US, CT, MRI, and CaStim for localization of insulinomas preoperatively. Results: All 45 patients had surgically proven insulinomas. Thirty-eight of 45 (84%) localized to the correct anatomical region by CaStim. In five of 45 (11%) patients, the CaStim was falsely negative. Two of 45 (4%) had false-positive localizations. Conclusion: The CaStim has remained vastly superior to abdominal US, CT, or MRI over time as a preoperative localizing tool for insulinomas. The utility of the CaStim forthis purpose and in this setting is thus validated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1074-1080
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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