This site is intended for healthcare professionals
Login | Register (NOW FREE)

Medical search

Verner-Morrison syndrome

FREE subscriptions for doctors and students... click here
You have 3 open access pages.

This is the association of secretory diarrhoea with intestinal tumours secreting vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) - VIPoma.

The Verner-Morrison syndrome is characterised by a profuse, watery diarrhoea that results in massive intestinal loss of water, potassium, sodium and bicarbonate, leading to hypovolaemia, hypokalaemia and reduced total body potassium, and achlorhydria (metabolic acidosis).

VIPomas account for fewer than 10% of islet cell tumours

  • mostly solitary tumours, arising from the VIP-secreting cells that are usually located in the region of the pancreatic tail and body
  • more than 60% of these tumours are malignant and metastasize to lymph nodes, liver, kidneys and bone
  • rarely, extrapancreatic tumours appearing as neuroblastomas, ganglioneuroblastomas or ganglioneuromas have been found
  • VIPomas rarely occur in MEN-I patients (in approximately 1%).

Associated metabolic features include:

  • impaired glucose tolerance; VIP causes mild insulin resistance
  • hypercalcaemia


  • directed by a specialist
  • may require an intensive intravenous supplementation of fluid losses and a careful correction of electrolyte and acid–base abnormalities
  • octapeptide somatostatin analogues lead to reduced tumoural VIP secretion by more than 50% and inhibit intestinal water and electrolyte secretion
  • corticosteroids may also improve diarrhoea (1)
  • surgical removal of the primary tumour may be curative in approximately 40% of patients with either benign VIPomas or non-metastatic malignant tumours


  1. de Herder WW and Lamberts SWJ. Best Practice & Research Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 2004; Volume 18(4): 477-495.


The information provided herein should not be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical practitioner should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Copyright 2016 Oxbridge Solutions Ltd®. Any distribution or duplication of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited. Oxbridge Solutions Ltd® receives funding from advertising but maintains editorial independence. GPnotebook stores small data files on your computer called cookies so that we can recognise you and provide you with the best service. If you do not want to receive cookies please do not use GPnotebook.