Somatostatinoma: clinico-pathological features of three cases and literature reviewed

J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2008 Apr;23(4):521-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2007.05053.x. Epub 2007 Jul 20.


Somatostatinoma is a rare endocrine tumor that comprises around 1% of all gastroenteropancreatic endocrine neoplasms. This paper gives an updated review on somatostatinoma and describes three sporadic cases of somatostatinoma located in the pancreas, duodenum, and jejunum. Approximately 200 case histories of somatostatinoma have been published, with the duodenum being the most frequent site, followed by the pancreas. Somatostatinomas may be sporadic or associated with neurofibromatosis type 1, Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia type 1, and Von Hippel-Lindau syndromes. Functional somatostatinomas release excessive amounts of somatostatin suppressing gallbladder motility and inhibiting the secretory activity of various endocrine and exocrine cell types. A triad of mild diabetes mellitus, cholelithiasis, and diarrhea/steatorrhoea characterizes the somatostatinoma or 'inhibitory' syndrome. Non-functional somatostatinomas tend either to be asymptomatic or to present with obstructive symptoms. These tumors are often malignant and by the time they are detected, nearly two-thirds have already metastasized to the regional lymph nodes or the liver. A comparison between our three cases and those in the literature provides useful insights into the clinical management of these patients. Interestingly, the jejunal somatostatinoma described here is the second case ever reported.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Duodenal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Jejunal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Somatostatinoma / diagnosis*