Posted in | News | Imaging

Developing Innovative Imaging Technique To Detect Insulinomas

A team of researchers have resolved a non-invasive method by which the position of very small pancreatic tumors called insulinomas can be precisely detected. This non-invasive method of detection will allow surgeons to successfully achieve surgical removal of tumor growths less than 1cm in diameter.

The observations were presented at the joint International Congress of Endocrinology/ European Congress of Endocrinology dated 7 May 2012. University Hospital at Bern’s clinical researcher of the Endocrinology Department, Professor Emanuel Christ and his research team have observed that a specific receptor type is present in high densities on the cell surfaces of insulinomas, which can be targeted using radioactively labelled drug. A conventional computerised tomography (CT) scan integrated with 2-D/3-D Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) technique has been used for patients while scanning to identify the drug’s binding location with insulinoma cells, thereby allowing tumor detection as small as 1 cm in diameter.

Thirty patients (12 women and 18 men) were infused with the drug. Following the injection, scanning was conducted by the researchers after 30 minutes, 4-, 23-, 96-, and 168-hours. SPECT imaging with 111In-exendin-4 precisely detected one malignant insulinoma, 23 benign insulinomas, two islets hyperplasia and two uncharacterised lesions. Conventional imaging (MRI), computerised tomography (CT) and endosonography were successfully employed for tumor detection in 17 patients. No false negative results occurred.

Furthermore, this technique was used to identify an islets hyperplasia and an additional malignant insulinoma. The positive predictive value of the test was 85%, whereas the negative value was predicted to be 100%.

Surgical removal of tumours was achieved following the scans. The tissues were then analyzed for diagnosis determination.

For detecting small insulinomas, existing invasive approaches such as arterial stimulation with venous sampling (ASVS) has been practiced.

Prof Christ and his team anticipate analyzing another 2-D/3-D nuclear medicine imaging technique called positron emission tomography (PET), to be effective for more improved tumour localisation.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Choi, Andy. (2019, February 28). Developing Innovative Imaging Technique To Detect Insulinomas. AZoOptics. Retrieved on July 16, 2024 from

  • MLA

    Choi, Andy. "Developing Innovative Imaging Technique To Detect Insulinomas". AZoOptics. 16 July 2024. <>.

  • Chicago

    Choi, Andy. "Developing Innovative Imaging Technique To Detect Insulinomas". AZoOptics. (accessed July 16, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Choi, Andy. 2019. Developing Innovative Imaging Technique To Detect Insulinomas. AZoOptics, viewed 16 July 2024,

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this news story?

Leave your feedback
Your comment type

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.