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Vol. 6, No. 1-2, 2006
Issue release date: April 2006
Pancreatology 2006;6:155–159

Radiofrequency Ablation Has a Valuable Therapeutic Role in Metastatic VIPoma

Moug S.J. · Leen E. · Horgan P.G. · Imrie C.W.
Departments of Surgery and Radiology, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, UK

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Background: Vasoactive intestinal peptide-secreting tumours (VIPomas) are rare islet cell tumours of the pancreas that can result in life-threatening biochemical abnormalities. The optimal intervention for metastatic VIPoma remains undecided. This case history documents the clinical role of radiofrequency (RF) ablation in the treatment of metastatic VIPoma. Case History: A primary pancreatic VIPoma was diagnosed in a 61-year-old female in 1998 and a distal pancreatectomy and splenectomy were performed. She remained disease-free for 44 months when she presented as an emergency with watery diarrhoea, hypokalaemia, renal failure and an elevated serum VIP level. CT scanning showed a liver metastasis and open RF ablation was performed with complete resolution of symptoms and biochemistry within 48 h. Post-ablation imaging confirmed complete ablation of the metastasis. She remained disease-free until 22 months later when watery diarrhoea resumed and a new hepatic metastasis was seen on CT. Percutaneous RF ablation was performed and follow-up CT scan showed complete ablation of the metastasis. The patient remains disease- and symptom-free 10 months after the second RF ablation. Conclusion: This case illustrates that the pronounced clinical and biochemical upset caused by metastatic VIPoma can be resolved safely, quickly and repeatedly by RF ablation.

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