Hypoglycemic peripheral neuropathy in association with insulinoma: implication of glucopenia rather than hyperinsulinism. Case report and literature review

Medicine (Baltimore). 1982 Jan;61(1):33-44.


A syndrome of peripheral polyneuropathy associated with islet cell tumors and hypoglycemia has been reported in 28 patients. Despite varying features in these patients, the clinical characteristics of this syndrome are remarkably similar. These consist of the development of a sensorimotor neuropathy during a protracted course of recurrent severe hypoglycemia, related to underlying insulinoma. Cerebral symptoms dominate the clinical picture and a predominantly or entirely motor, distal and symmetric, peripheral neuropathy ensures. Upper limb involvement is more frequent, accompanied by severe weakness and distal wasting, usually without fasciculations. Painful distal paresthesias without objective sensory loss are characteristic. Direct relationship to a single hypoglycemic insult is often absent. This report describes the clinical features and laboratory investigation of a new case with this condition, reviews the literature and discusses the syndrome with special regard to the etiology.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma, Islet Cell / blood*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hyperinsulinism / blood*
  • Hypoglycemia / blood*
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulinoma / blood*
  • Insulinoma / pathology
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscular Atrophy / blood
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated / ultrastructure
  • Neural Conduction
  • Neuromuscular Diseases / blood
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / blood*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / blood*
  • Proinsulin / blood
  • Sural Nerve / pathology


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Proinsulin