Retrospective study of 20 cats surgically treated for insulinoma

The objective of the study was to report the clinical signs, histopathology results and prognostic factors for outcomes following excision for feline insulinoma (INS).  

Medical records from 2006 to 2020 were retrospectively reviewed by Veterinary Society of Surgical Oncology members for cats with hypoglycemia resulting from INS, with surgical excision and follow up. Clinical signs and histopathology results were summarized. Factors potentially related to disease-free interval (DFI), disease-related death (DRD) and overall survival time (OST) were analyzed with a Cox proportional hazards regression analysis.  

Sample population: 20 client-owned cats were included.  

All cats were hypoglycemic on presentation with neurologic signs in 18 out of 20 and inappropriate insulin levels in 12 of 13. Excision of insulinomas resulted in immediate euglycemia or hyperglycemia in 18 cats.  

Eighteen cats survived to be discharged from the hospital. The median time to death or last postoperative follow-up was 664 days (range: 2-1205 days).  

Prognostic factors included age at presentation (for DFI); time to postoperative euglycemia (for DRD); preoperative and postoperative serum blood glucose concentrations; metastasis at the time of surgery (DFI and DRD), and histopathologic tumor invasion (for OST). The median OST for all cats was 863 days. The 1-, 2- and 3-year survival rates were 75%, 51%, and 10%, respectively.  

The authors conclude that excision of insulinoma resulted in euglycemia or hyperglycemia in most cats. Negative prognostic factors included young age, low serum glucose concentrations, metastasis at time of surgery, tumor invasion and shorter time to euglycemia.  

Researchers also said that surgical excision resulted in survival times comparable to those of canine INS.

Stan Veytsman, et al. “Retrospective study of 20 cats surgically treated for insulinoma.” Vet Surg. 2022 Sep 20. doi: 10.1111/vsu.13892.

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