Calcium Stimulation Test

Calcium stimulation is used to find where a tumor has formed in the pancreas. This is done at the same time as an angiogram. Calcium is injected into an artery that goes to one part of the pancreas. A blood sample is taken from a vein that comes out of that same area and it is checked for pancreatic hormones. If there is an islet cell tumor in the area of the pancreas that gets blood from the artery that was injected, there will be an increase in the amount of hormone in the blood sample. If the increase is found after injection into the first artery, the tumor is in the area that gets blood from that artery. If there is no increase, another artery is injected and the tested. This test is used to locate a tumor called an insulinoma, a type of islet cell tumor. Also called an intra-arterial calcium stimulation test.

Angiogram

An imaging test that takes x-rays (pictures) of the inside of your arteries, blood vessels that bring blood from the heart to the rest of your body. A special dye (contrast material) is injected into an artery and x-rays are taken as the dye flows through your bloodstream. Also called an arteriogram or angiography

Insulinoma

A tumor that begins in the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. Insulin is hormone that regulates the level of sugar in the blood by moving glucose (sugar) out of the blood and into the cells, where it is used for energy. Most (90-95%) insulinomas are benign (non-cancerous). They are usually slow-growing tumors and they rarely spread. People with a genetic syndrome called multiple endocrine neoplasia type I are at risk for developing insulinomas and other endocrine tumors.