This site is targeted at medical and radiology professionals, contains user contributed content and material that may be confusing to a lay audience. Use of this site implies acceptance of our Terms of Use.


Glucagonomas are pancreatic endocrine tumours that secrete glucagon. Most lesions are malignant.


They are rare with an incidence of 0.000005%. Equal incidence in middle-aged men and women. 

Clinical presentation

Most patients present with a necrolytic migratory rash and various other elements of the 4D syndrome which includes:

  • dermatitis / necrotizing migratory erythema
  • diabetes mellitus
  • deep vein thrombosis
  • depression

Stomatitis, diarrhoea, anaemia, and weight loss may also occur.

Plasma levels of glucagons are elevated (>500 pg ml).

Radiographic features

Tumour size is variable, but most are large (>5 cm) and have metastasized at the time of diagnosis. Most are located in the distal pancreas and are vascular.

Tumors may be solid or contain central low-attenuation areas on CT.

Treatment and prognosis

Approximately 50% of patients survive at least 5 years after diagnosis.

Related articles

Updating… Please wait.


Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

Alert_accept Thank you for updating your details.