Calcium Stimulation Tests
This procedure has been developed and evaluated at the Hammersmith. Neuroendocrine tumours secrete their hormones in response to a pulse of calcium. A catheter placed at the site of suspected neuroendocrine lesions is infused with calcium. This technique is routinely used for the diagnosis and localisation of gastrinomas and insulinomas, when hormone levels are measured before and after calcium infusion. Again, the endocrine SpRs are responsible for the coordination of the procedure and are involved with the interpretation of the results.
Liver metastases are an extremely common complication of neuroendocrine tumours and are frequently
the cause of troublesome symptoms. These symptoms, such as flushing, sweating, and
diarrhoea, often respond well to hepatic embolisation.
Nuclear Medicine Departments
The nuclear medicine departments at both hospitals are equipped to perform the full range of endocrine imaging including octreotide scans and MIBG scans. Thyroid uptake scans can be performed and a therapeutic dose of iodine given within
days of a thyrotoxic patient attending out-patients.
ENDOCRINE INVESTIGATIONS Assays (page 11)