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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Adult and Senior Health Verner Morrison syndrome

Verner Morrison syndrome

VIPoma is a endocrine tumor which secrete excessive amounts of VIP(Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide) which causes a distinct syndrome characterized by large volume diarrhea , Hypokalemia and dehydration.

Causes :

  •   VIPoma causes cells in the pancreas to produce high levels of a hormone called vasoactive intestinal peptide .
  •   This hormone increases secretions from the intestines and relaxes some of the smooth muscles in the GI system. 
  •   The cause is not known. 
  •   VIPomas are usually diagnosed in adults, most commonly at age 50.
  •   Women are more likely to be affected than men. 
  •   This cancer is rare, affecting an estimated 1 in 10 million people per year.


 Symptoms :


   Signs :

  •      Dehydration
  •      High volume of diarrhea (even without eating)
  •      Low stomach acid (achlorhydria)
  •      Low blood potassium (hypokalemia), which can cause leg cramps


Diagnostic  tests:

 Tests include:

  •     CT scan
  •     MRI
  •     Stool examination for cause of diarrhea and electrolyte levels
  •     Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) in the blood



Treatment :






  •  The first goal of treatment is to correct dehydration.
  •  Fluids are often given through a vein (intravenous fluids) to replace fluids lost in diarrhea. 
  • The next goal is to slow the diarrhea. Some medications can help control diarrhea.
  • Ocreotide, which is a man-made form of a natural hormone(Somatostatin analouge), blocks the action of VIP. 
  • The best chance for a cure is surgery to remove the tumor. 
  •  If the tumor has not spread to other organs, surgery can often cure it.


 Complications :


  •     Cancer spread (metastasis)
  •     Cardiac arrest from electrolyte imbalances
  •     Dehydration




  •   Surgery can usually cure VIPomas.



  •   However, in one-third to one-half of patients, the tumors have spread by the time of diagnosis and are not curable.