Elevated Plasma Pancreastatin, but Not Chromogranin A, Predicts Survival in Neuroendocrine Tumors of the Duodenum

Woltering EA1, Beyer DT2, Thiagarajan R3, Ramirez RA4, Wang YZ3, Ricks MJ4, Boudreaux JP3

J Am Coll Surg. 2016 April; 222(4): 534-42


Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) of the duodenum are rare, heterogeneous, and often indolent neoplasms. We hypothesized that elevated pancreastatin levels are an indicator of a poor prognosis in well-differentiated duodenal NETs.

Data from patients diagnosed with a primary duodenal NET were analyzed. Patients that underwent esophogogastroduodenoscopy, endoscopic ultrasound, or exploratory surgery to localize their neoplasm and whose tumors were confirmed histologically were included.

Eighty-four patients were diagnosed with duodenal NETs from January 1991 to January 2014. Seventy-five percent and 21% of patients had their tumor localized by esophogogastroduodenoscopy and endoscopic ultrasound, respectively. The remaining 4% were localized during exploratory surgery. The 5-year Kaplan-Meier survival rate for the entire cohort (N = 84) was 80%. Survival sorted by normal vs abnormal pancreastatin level was statistically significant (p < 0.0001). Five-year survival rates were 94% and 37% for normal and abnormal pancreastatin, respectively. In contrast, survival sorted by normal vs abnormal plasma chromogranin A level was not statistically significant (p = 0.24).


Patients with primary duodenal NETs have high 5-year survival rates. Serial monitoring of plasma pancreastatin levels can identify patients who have a poor prognosis.

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