oa Central African Journal of Medicine - Report of a pancreatic polypeptide producing islet-cell tumour of the pancreas causing the watery diarrhoea, hypokalaemia, achlorhydria syndrome in a 55 year old Zimbabwean African male

Volume 26, Issue 9
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



The association between watery diarrhoea, hypokalaemia and achlorhydria (WDAH Syndrome) and certain non-beta Islet-cell tumours of the pancreas has been known for some time. Islet-cell tumours producing this syndrome are extremely rare and no such cases have apparently been reported previously in the Zimbabwean African. The specific hormones secreted by these tumours have been a subject of conjecture for many years. Thus, evidence exists to support the action of the following hormones, acting singly or jointly, in causing the WDAH syndrome: secretin, gastrin and glucagon, gastric inhibitory polypeptide, M vasoactive intestinal peptide, pancreatic polypeptide and prostaglandins. This paper reports the occurrence in a 55 year Zimbabwean male of a non-beta islet-cell tumour secreting only pancreatic polypeptide. The tumour resulted in death due to the WDAH syndrome.

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