Glucagonoma Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Dec 16, 2022
  • Author: Ricardo R Correa Marquez, MD, EsD, FACP, FACE, FAPCR, CMQ, ABDA, FACHT; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

The poorly defined symptoms of glucagonoma sometimes make it difficult to establish a correct differential diagnosis (eg, with a pancreatic adenocarcinoma that causes weight loss, the early stages of dyspepsia, and the later stages of jaundice).

As necrolytic migratory erythema (NME) may be the only manifestation during the development of malignant glucagonomas, clinicians often misdiagnose NME as eczema, psoriasis, or contact dermatitis. [4]  

In the absence of clinical signs and symptoms of glucagonomas, other conditions associated with elevated glucagon levels include the following [14] :

  • Cirrhosis
  • Renal failure
  • Pancreatitis
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Prolonged fasting
  • Familial hyperglucagonemia

Differential Diagnoses