The case of an infant who developed refractory watery diarrhea at the age of 2 weeks is described. Diarrhea was secretory in type, stool weight on no oral intake was 400 to 600 gm daily. A vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP)-producing tumor was suspected. At the age of 7½ months an exploratory laparotomy revealed nonbeta islet cell hyperplasia of the pancreas. VIP levels were elevated in plasma and pancreatic tissue. After 95% pancreatectomy, plasma VIP level dropped to normal. Hypokalemia, described in adult patients with VIP-producing pancreatic tumors and refractory watery diarrhea, was not a significant problem in this infant. This is the first report on the association of refractory watery diarrhea with elevated levels of plasma VIP and pancreatic islet nonbeta cell hyperplasia in the pediatric age group.
- Received September 8, 1978.
- Accepted October 27, 1978.
- Copyright © 1979 by the American Academy of Pediatrics