This case report describes a patient with pancreatic cholera caused by a vasoactive intestinal polypeptide-producing pancreatic tumor. The case presents several unusual characteristics of this disease. The primary tumor was a mucinous adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. The serum vasoactive intestinal polypeptide level of 2400 pmol/L is the highest reported. At this vasoactive intestinal polypeptide level, the somatostatin analogue SMS 201-995 at doses up to 2 mg/24 h did not control the 21 L/24 h stool output. Fecal incontinence due to a manometrically documented hypotonic internal anal sphincter occurred. Using surgically created stomas, the segmental gastrointestinal fluid and sodium losses were shown to be greatest from the jejunum, whereas potassium losses from the colon and small intestine were equal. The cellular mechanism for the small intestinal potassium secretion is not known.
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