Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide

Keywords: VIP

Specimen:

5 mL blood in EDTA tube; some laboratories require an EDTA/Trasylol tube.

Patient must be fasting.

Plasma must be separated immediately and frozen.

Method:

Immunoassay.

Reference Interval:< 30 pmol/L.
Application:

Investigation of persistent unexplained watery diarrhoea.

Interpretation:

The presence of elevated levels of VIP in a patient with persistent severe diarrhoea associated with elevated levels of faecal sodium (secretory diarrhoea) indicates the presence of a tumour secreting VIP ('VIPoma'). These are usually located in the pancreas.

Reference:

Jensen RT. Gastrointest Dis 1999; 10(4): 156-172.