This page is dedicated to organizing various examples of standardized exam questions whose answer is insulinoma. While this may seem a odd practice, it is useful to see multiple examples of how insulinoma will be characterized on standardized exams (namely the boards and the shelf exams). This page is not meant to be used as a traditional question bank (as all of the answers will be the same), however seeing the classic “test” characterization for a disease is quite valuable.
Question # 1
A 50 year old man comes to the clinic because he has been having light-headedness and hunger in the late evenings before dinner and after exercising. This has been bothering him for the past 2 months. He explains that his symptoms improve after he eats or drinks something sweet. About a week ago he almost became unconscious when he was running with his wife in the park, but felt better after eating a candy bar his wife had with her. The patient denies smoking, alcohol usage, or any usage of illicit drugs. His family history is notable for a father who has type 2 diabetes. The patient’s BMI is 23 kg/m2, pulse is 65/min, and blood pressure is 105/65 mm/Hg. A physical exam is non-contributory. The patient is given a meal and then nothing else orally. Several hours later after the patient develops his above symptoms, the patient’s serum glucose concentration is 26 mg/dL and both his serum insulin and C-peptide concentrations are increased. What is a possible diagnosis?
Question # 2
A 58 year old woman has been experiencing sweating, anxiety, tremors, tachycardia, and hunger for the past few months. She explains that her symptoms are worse when she is fasting. A selective angiography shows a 1.2 cm mass in the tail of the pancreas. What is the likely diagnosis?
Page Updated: 01.22.2017