Canine pancreatic islet cell tumours secreting insulin-like growth factor type 2: a rare entity

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Insulin-like growth factor type II (IGF-II) is the main cause of non-islet cell tumour hypoglycaemia (NICTH) and insulin is thought to be the only factor causing hypoglycaemia in insulinomas. However, two case reports of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours (PNETs) producing IGF-II have been previously published: a human and a canine patient. In this study, we investigated clinical, histopathological, immunohistochemical and ultrastructural features, and biological behaviour of canine pancreatic IGF-II-omas, a subgroup of PNETs that has not been previously characterized. Case records of 58 dogs with confirmed PNETs and hypoglycaemia were reviewed: six patients were affected by IGF-II-omas. Surgery was performed in all cases and two dogs had metastases. Four patients remained alive and in remission at 370, 440, 560 and 890 days post-diagnosis; two died of non-tumour-related causes. IGF-II-omas can be differentiated from insulinomas through hypoinsulinaemia, IGF-II positive and insulin negative immunostaining. The prevalence of this neoplasia is low, accounting for just 6% of PNETs.

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