A case of extragastrointestinal stromal tumor complicated by severe hypoglycemia: A unique presentation of a rare tumor

Zeb Saeed, Solaema Taleb, Carmella Evans-Molina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Background: Non-Islet Cell Tumor Hypoglycemia (NICTH) is a rare paraneoplastic cause of hypoglycemia arising from excess tumor production of insulin-like growth factor. The objective of this report is to describe an unusual case of Extragastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (EGIST) associated NICTH. Case presentation: A 64 year-old African female was brought to the emergency room with a 1-month history of recurrent syncope, weight loss, and abdominal bloating. Serum blood glucose was discovered to 39 mg/dL, when insulin, proinsulin, and C-peptide were suppressed. Computed tomography scan revealed a diffuse extraintestinal metastatic disease process, and a biopsy confirmed the diagnosis of an Extragastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (EGIST). IGF-I and II levels were 27 ng/ml and 262 ng/ml respectively, and the ratio of IGF-II to IGF-I was calculated as 9.7:1, suggestive of IGF-II-mediated NICTH. Acutely, the patient's hypoglycemia resolved with dextrose and glucagon infusion. Long-term euglycemia was achieved with prednisone and imatinib therapy. Conclusions: NICTH should be considered when hypoglycemia occurs in the setting of low serum insulin levels. Whereas definitive treatment of EGIST involves surgical resection, immunotherapy with tyrosine kinase inhibitors and corticosteroids have been shown to alleviate hypoglycemia in cases where surgery is delayed or not feasible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number930
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016



  • Extragastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST)
  • Non-islet cell tumor hypoglycemia
  • Tumor induced hypoglycemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research

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