Somatostatin

Clinical Use
Diagnosis of pancreatic endocrine tumours.

When secreted by endocrine tumours, somatostatin appears to produce symptoms similar to those seen on pharmacological administration, i.e. steatorrhoea, diabetes mellitus and gall stones.

Patient Preparation
Fast the patient completely overnight. Take blood (10 mL).

Sample Preparation
Transfer the blood (10 mL) to a heparin tube (do not exceed 20 U/mL blood) containing Trasylol (aprotinin, 0.2 mL, 2000 kIU). Mix by inversion. Place on ice and transfer to the laboratory. Separate the plasma in a refrigerated centrifuge. Visible haemolysis invalidates the result. Freeze the plasma at -200C within 15 min of venepuncture. Send plasma (5 mL) to the SAS laboratory. Ensure the sample remains frozen during transport.

Reference Ranges
Adults (fasting): <150 pmol/L

Adults with endocrine tumours producing Somatostatin: >250 pmol/L

Centre offering this assay
London Imperial Charing Cross Hospital Endocrine Laboratory

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