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June 1952

ISLET-CELL ADENOMA OF THE PANCREAS: Metabolic Studies on a Patient Treated with Corticotropin and Cortisone

Author Affiliations


From the Veterans Administration Hospital and the Departments of Medicine and Surgery, University of Utah College of Medicine.; Dr. Brown is Chief of Medicine, Veterans Administration Hospital, and Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Utah College of Medicine. Dr. Hargreaves is Resident on Surgical Service, Veterans Administration Hospital. Dr. Tyler is Assistant Research Professor of Medicine, University of Utah College of Medicine.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1952;89(6):951-960. doi:10.1001/archinte.1952.00240060094011

ALTHOUGH the diagnosis of pancreatic-cell adenoma is no longer a medical curiosity, the entity is still rare, only about 400 cases having been reported to date.1 Moreover, the syndrome is important because it offers some clue to a more complete understanding of carbohydrate metabolism. The observation that the administration of corticotropin (ACTH) or of cortisone can correct the hypoglycemia of pancreatic hyperinsulinism2 has raised the problem of the physiological mechanism of action of the hormones. The studies on our patient are germane to this problem.

REPORT OF A CASE  W. J. H. was a 58-year-old American Legion representative, who was admitted to the Salt Lake Veterans Administration Hospital on Jan. 8, 1951, for evaluation of attacks of bizarre behavior. In 1944 the patient first noticed incoordination of his hands when engaged in prolonged work. This was attributed to nervousness. During the next two years he had endured frequent