, Volume 61, Issue 3, pp 422–427 | Cite as

Incidence and management of postoperative hyperglycemia in patients undergoing insulinoma resection

  • Pavel Nockel
  • Amit Tirosh
  • Mustapha El Lakis
  • Apostolos Gaitanidis
  • Roxanne Merkel
  • Dhaval Patel
  • Naris Nilubol
  • Samira M. Sadowski
  • Craig Cochran
  • Phillip Gorden
  • Electron KebebewEmail author
Endocrine Surgery



It has been proposed that rebound hyperglycemia after resection of insulinoma indicates a biochemical cure. However, there is scant objective data in the literature on the rate and need for intervention in hyperglycemia in patients undergoing resection of insulinoma. The goal of our study was to evaluate the rate of postoperative hyperglycemia, any predisposing factors, and the need for intervention in a prospective cohort study of all patients undergoing routine glucose monitoring.


A retrospective analysis of 33 patients who had an insulinoma resected and who underwent routine postoperative monitoring of blood glucose (every hour for the first six hours then every four hours for the first 24 h) was performed. Hyperglycemia was defined as glucose greater than 180 mg/dL (10 mmol/l).


Twelve patients (36%) developed hyperglycemia within 24 h (range 1–16 h). In patients with hyperglycemia, the mean maximum plasma glucose level was 221.5 mg/dL (range 97–325 mg/dL) (12.3 mmol/l), and four (33%) patients were treated with insulin. There was no significant difference in age, gender, body mass index (BMI), tumor size, biochemical profile, or surgical approach and extent of pancreatectomy between patients who developed hyperglycemia and those who did not. Pre-excision and post-excision intraoperative insulin levels were evaluated in 14 of 33 patients. The percentage decrease of the intraoperative insulin levels was not significantly different between patients who developed hyperglycemia and those who did not. All patients with postoperative hyperglycemia had normalization of their glucose levels, and none were discharged on anti-hyperglycemic agents.


Hyperglycemia is common after insulinoma resection, and a subset of patients require transient treatment with insulin.


Insulinoma Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor Hyperglycemia Surgery 



Intramural Research Program, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pavel Nockel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Amit Tirosh
    • 1
    • 3
  • Mustapha El Lakis
    • 1
  • Apostolos Gaitanidis
    • 4
  • Roxanne Merkel
    • 1
  • Dhaval Patel
    • 1
  • Naris Nilubol
    • 1
  • Samira M. Sadowski
    • 5
  • Craig Cochran
    • 6
  • Phillip Gorden
    • 6
  • Electron Kebebew
    • 7
    Email author
  1. 1.Endocrine Oncology Branch, National Cancer InstituteNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Presbyterian Medical GroupEndocrine SurgeryAlbuquerqueUSA
  3. 3.NET service, Sheba MC, and Sackler Faculty of MedicineTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  4. 4.Second Department of SurgeryUniversity General Hospital of Alexandroupoli, Democritus University of Thrace Medical SchoolAlexandroupoliGreece
  5. 5.Thoracic and Endocrine SurgeryUniversity Hospitals of GenevaGenevaSwitzerland
  6. 6.The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney DiseasesNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA
  7. 7.Department of Surgery, Surgery and Cancer CenterStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA

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