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Hormone-Mediated Watery Diarrhea in a Family with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasms

DAVID F. HUTCHEON, M.D.; THEODORE M. BAYLESS, M.D.; JOHN L. CAMERON, M.D.; and STEPHEN B. BAYLIN, M.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to David F. Hutcheon, M.D.; The Johns Hopkins Hospital; Baltimore MD 21212


Baltimore, Maryland


© 1979 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1979;90(6):932-934. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-90-6-932
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A father and son each presented with severe watery diarrhea. The son was found to have a pancreatic islet-cell tumor associated with the pancreatic cholera syndrome, as well as a parathyroid adenoma. The father was found to have multiple islet-cell adenomas and the Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Pancreatic tumor tissue from each patient contained detectable gastrin and vasoactive intestinal peptide; however, a much higher gastrin concentration was found in the tumor tissue from the father and a much higher vasoactive intestinal peptide content in the tumor tissue from the son. Thus, watery diarrhea may be mediated by different hormones in families having multiple endocrine neoplasia; the precise cause of the diarrheal syndrome should be defined to ensure the proper therapy.

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