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Endocrine tumours of the pancreas

Endocrine tumours of the pancreas comprise tumours which arise from the pancreatic islet cells and include a number of distinct tumours which match the cell type of origin. Each has different clinical presentation, on account of them elaborating various hormones and different biological behaviours. 

These tumours can be divided according to whether or not they secrete active compounds. They are:  

Individual functional tumours are discussed in more details separately. Below is a general discussion focusing on non-functioning tumours.


Tumours can be isolated or associated with the multiple endocrine neoplasia type I (MEN I), which is characterized by the triad of parathyroid, pituitary, and pancreatic lesions.

Clinical presentation

Functional tumours tend to present earlier, with clinical signs and symptoms related to their cell type. 

Radiographic features

Multiphase contrast enhanced thin slice cross-sectional imaging is ideal. Tumours tend to be smaller and hypervascular and may be calcified, and may be cystic.

Treatment and prognosis

If diagnosed early enough then complete surgical resection can be curable. Biological behaviour also depends on cell of origin:

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