Is 95% pancreatectomy the procedure of choice for treatment of persistent hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia of the neonate?

Joel Shilyansky, Simon Fisher, Ernest Cutz, Kusiel Perlman, Robert M. Filler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


A 95% pancreatectomy became the treatment of choice for persistent hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia of the neonate (PHHN, Nesidioblastosis) at the author's institution, when lesser resections failed to prevent hypoglycemia in 25% to 50% of cases. With few outcome data available in the literature, the authors reviewed their 25-year experience to assess the efficacy and the long-term consequences of this procedure. Since 1971, 27 infants underwent a 95% pancreatectomy for the treatment of PHHN. None had responded to medical treatment (glucose infusion, glucagon, octreotide, diazoxide), and two had 85% pancreatectomy that failed. The procedure consisted of resecting the pancreas including the uncinate process, leaving only the gland lying between the common bile duct (CBD) and the duodenum and a small rim of pancreas along the duodenal sweep. Hyperinsulinemia and hypoglycemia recurred in nine children (33%), all within 2 to 5 days. Seven of them were subsequently cured with near-total pancreatic resection. Partial pancreatic regrowth was evident at reoperation. In two cases hypoglycemia was controlled with diazoxide and frequent feedings because reoperation was refused. The gross anatomic findings and the histopathology were not predictive of treatment failure. Perioperative complications occurred in four of 27 children (15%) after 95% pancreatectomy and in four of seven children (57%) after near-total pancreatectomy. Clinical follow-up ranged from 0.5 to 18 years (mean, 8 years; median, 8 years). To date, diabetes has developed in 15 children (56%), nine of 20 (45%) after 95% pancreatectomy (mean age, 9.7 years) and six of seven (86%) after a near-total pancreatectomy (mean age, 1.7 years). After 95% pancreatectomy, the incidence of diabetes increased with age, developing in nine of the 13 (69%) children followed up for more than 4 years. The failure of 95% pancreatectomy to prevent hypoglycemia in one third of children with PHHN and the ultimate development of diabetes in a minimum of two-thirds, indicates that an alternative treatment strategy is needed for this disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-346
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1997


  • Nesidioblastosis
  • diabetes
  • pancreatectomy
  • persistent hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia of the neonate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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