Pancreatic VIPoma as a Differential Diagnosis in Chronic Pediatric Diarrhea: A Case Report and Review of the Literature

Carolina Bonilla Gonzalez, Juliana Rusinque, Camila Uribe, Ailim Carias, Maria Luisa Contreras


Chronic diarrhea is a common chief complaint in the pediatric population with a wide range of diagnostic differentials; as such, whilst suspecting common causes, less prevalent conditions tend to be overlooked, such as neuroendocrine tumor pathologies. VIPomas are characterized by hypersecretion of the vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), causing watery diarrhea, hypokalemia, and achlorhydria. Nonetheless, its low incidence rate in children makes it an easily unnoticed pathology. Herein, we report a case of a 14-year-old female patient and a review of relevant literature. The patient complained of 7-month history of watery diarrhea, multiple emetic episodes, and relevant past medical history of multiple hospitalizations. Chronic diarrheal disease work-up studies, including a high VIP scintigram, showed a lesion suggestive of a VIPoma-type neuroendocrine pancreatic tumor. A distal pancreatectomy was performed with a complete resolution of the symptoms. When faced with a pediatric patient presenting with chronic secretory diarrhea and whose work-up studies rule out the most common pathologies, the possible presence of a neuroendocrine tumor as VIPoma should be considered.

J Med Cases. 2021;12(5):195-201


Chronic diarrhea; Vasoactive intestinal peptide; Pancreatic tumor; Pediatric

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