Insulin-secreting islet cell tumors: Establishing a diagnosis and the clinical course for 25 dogs

S. A. Kruth, Edward C Feldman, P. C. Kennedy

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57 Scopus citations


Twenty-five dogs with insulin-secreting neoplasms of the pancreas were studied. The diagnosis in each case was determined by histologic evaluation of pancreatic tissue obtained at surgery. The breed distribution revealed that German Shepherd Dogs, Irish Setters, and Collies were most commonly represented. Physical examination, complete blood counts, serum biochemical analysis, and urinalysis were of little diagnostic value, aside from the finding of hypoglycemia in 21 of 25 dogs. Radiographs of the thorax and abdomen were noncontributory to the ultimate diagnosis. Prior to surgery, fasting immunoreactive insulin concentrations and blood glucose concentrations were studied. Insulin:glucose ratios, glucose:insulin ratios, and amended insulin:glucose ratios were determined from the insulin and glucose concentrations in a single blood sample in each of 28 trials. In addition, glucagon tolerance tests were performed on 12 dogs. The amended insulin:glucose ratios proved to be the most reliable for diagnosis. Pancreatic masses were evident at surgery in 23 of 25 dogs; the remaining 2 dogs had microscopic evidence of an islet cell tumor. Nineteen of the islet cell tumors were carcinomas and 6 were simply described as 'islet cell tumors.' The mean life expectancy after surgery was 12.3 months. Treatment for malignant islet cell tumors included frequent feeding, glucocorticoids, and diazoxide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-58
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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