VIP secreting tumours in infancy: A review of radiological appearances

R. P. Davies, J. P. Slavotinek, S. F.A. Dorney

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) secreting neural crest tumours are an uncommon but important treatable cause of intractable childhood diarrhoea. The radiological appearances of two cases are presented with a review of radiological findings in childhood VIP secreting neural crest tumours. Twenty eight cases of childhood VIP secreting neural crest tumours were reviewed. Nineteen (68%) were ganglioneuroblastomas and nine (32%) were ganglioneuromas. The majority of tumours (66%) were in a paravertebral location in the abdomen indicating that a search for such a tumour should be initiated at this site. Eighteen of the twenty eight cases reviewed discussed relevant radiological investigtions. Calcification was detected in 50% of abdominalradiographs. Gut dilatation was often a prominet feature. A mass was detected in 5 of 5 cases where ultrasound findings were reported, and seven of seven cases with CT findings reported. Prior to the availability of CT and ultrasound the most useful investigation was IVU which demonstrated evidence of a mass in 5 of 9 cases. The presence of paravertebral calcification and gut dilatation on the plain radiograph of a child with intractable diarrhoea suggests the presence of a VIP secreting neural crest tumour. If an abdomil tumour is not found in the appropriate clinical setting and VIP levels are elevated, a widespread search of the paravertebral region is indicated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)504-508
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Radiology
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1990
Externally publishedYes


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