Hypercalcitonemia revealing a somatostatinoma

Ann Endocrinol (Paris). 2010 Dec;71(6):553-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ando.2010.05.001.


Somatostatinoma are rare well-differentiated endocrine tumors with malignant behavior arising from the pancreas and duodenum. They are defined by somatostatin positive immunostaining of the majority of tumor cells. The main clinical features are diabetes, diarrhea and biliary lithiasis related to somatostatin production. Somatostatinoma secreting both calcitonin and somatostatin may be unrecognized as a small number of such observations have been published. We report the case of a 57- year-old woman referred for weight loss, diarrhea and worsening diabetes. Computer tomography scan revealed multiple hypervascular liver lesions suggestive of metastases. High plasma calcitonin level was evidenced, with normal chromogranin-A value, and high plasma somatostatin results lately communicated. Calcitonin secretion of extra-thyroidal origin was suspected leading to the identification of a pancreatic mass by further multiphase CT. The patient underwent left pancreatectomy with surgical hepatic resection. Histological and immunostaining studies confirmed definitive diagnosis of somatostatinoma secreting both somatostatin and calcitonin. Plasma calcitonin should be measured in the assessment of duodeno-pancreatic endocrine neoplasm. Calcitonin determination is available, more reproducible than other specific pancreatic endocrine markers and could be effective for diagnosis and follow-up of such foregut-derived endocrine neoplasia.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Calcitonin / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Duodenal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Duodenal Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Duodenal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Laparoscopy
  • Liver / surgery
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary
  • Liver Neoplasms / surgery
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / diagnostic imaging
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / metabolism*
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / surgery
  • Pancreatectomy
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / surgery
  • Somatostatinoma / metabolism*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Ultrasonography


  • Calcitonin