Master Somatostatinoma with Picmonic for Medicine

With Picmonic, facts become pictures. We've taken what the science shows - image mnemonics work - but we've boosted the effectiveness by building and associating memorable characters, interesting audio stories, and built-in quizzing.

Somatostatinoma

Sumo-santa-gnome
DikeHAfifi
Somatostatinoma is a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (PanNET) that originates from delta cells. It can present with steatorrhea, gallstones, and hyperglycemia. Increased levels of somatostatin in the blood is virtually diagnostic of this tumor. Abdominal CT or MRI can help with localizing the disease and evaluating for metastasis. Octreotide helps to relieve symptoms. Treatment options include surgical resection and chemotherapy.
10 KEY FACTS
CHARACTERISTICS
Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumor
Pancreas Neuron-indy-car Tumor-guy

Somatostatinoma is a functional pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (PanNET). Other tumors of this class include insulinomas, gastrinomas, VIPomas, and glucagonomas. Somatostatinomas are relatively rare and make up less than 5% of PanNETs.

Originates from Delta Cells
Delta-triangle

Somatostatin is mainly produced by pancreatic delta cells. It reduces the production of other hormones including gastrin, secretin, cholecystokinin, glucagon, and insulin. Somatostatin is also produced by the hypothalamus where it inhibits growth hormone secretion.

CLINICAL FEATURES
Steatorrhea
Steak-diarrhea

Steatorrhea is characterized by excessive fat in the stool. This occurs due to mechanical compression of biliary and pancreatic duct drainage by a somatostatinoma. Decreased gastrointestinal motility also plays a role in this process. The result is a malfunction of the pancreas presenting as fat malabsorption. Fat then deposits in the stool.

Gallstones
Gold-stones

Somatostatin suppresses cholecystokinin, resulting in decreased motility of the gallbladder. This will increase the risk of gallbladder stone formation.

Hyperglycemia
Hiker-glue-bottle

Hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia can be seen in patients with somatostatinomas. This occurs due to the suppression of insulin and glucagon. Notably, somatostatin suppresses insulin more than glucagon. Thus, hyperglycemia will dominate. Another clinical feature that can be seen is hypochlorhydria. The decrease of gastrin production by somatostatin causes hypochlorhydria.

DIAGNOSIS
Increased Somatostatin
Up-arrow Sumo-santa

Increased somatostatin levels are virtually diagnostic of somatostatinoma.

Abdominal CT or MRI
Cat-scanner and M-R-eyes Machine on Abdomen

Abdominal CT or MRI can help visualize the tumor. The initial diagnostic tool to be considered is multiphasic contrast-enhanced CT of the abdomen. MRI helps to recognize small liver metastasis.

MANAGEMENT
Octreotide 
Octo-tree-ride

Octreotide is a somatostatin analog. Its indication seems paradoxical because of the high somatostatin levels seen in these patients. However, octreotide has proven to be effective at relieving  patient's symptoms and reducing plasma levels of somatostatin.

Surgical Resection
Surgeon

Surgical resection is the only curative treatment. It is recommended and effective in patients with localized cases. Because some cases are complicated by advanced stage and  metastasis, surgical cure is not possible.

Chemotherapy
Chemo-head-wrap

Chemotherapy can be considered in somatostatinoma patients. Fluorouracil is the most common chemotherapeutic agent used, and is often combined with other drugs such as streptozocin and doxorubicin. Half of cases benefit from chemotherapy.

Unlock all 10 facts & definitions with Picmonic Free!

JOIN FREE

Take the Somatostatinoma Quiz

Picmonic's rapid review multiple-choice quiz allows you to assess your knowledge.

START QUIZ NOW

It's worth every penny

Our Story Mnemonics Increase Mastery and Retention

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Unforgettable characters with concise but impactful videos (2-4 min each)

Ace Your Medical (MD/DO) Classes & Exams with Picmonic:

Over 1,010,000 students use Picmonic’s picture mnemonics to improve knowledge, retention, and exam performance.

Choose the #1 Medical (MD/DO) student study app.

Picmonic for Medical (MD/DO) covers information that is relevant to your entire Medical (MD/DO) education. Whether you’re studying for your classes or getting ready to conquer the USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2 CK, COMLEX Level 1, or COMLEX Level 2, we’re here to help.

Works better than traditional Medical (MD/DO) flashcards.

Research shows that students who use Picmonic see a 331% improvement in memory retention and a 50% improvement in test scores.