What is vasoactive intestinal polypeptide?

Robert L. Moesinger, MD
Ear, Nose & Throat (Otolaryngology)

Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide is a poorly-understood hormone secreted by the pancreas. Its function is really unclear. Its clinical importance is in that a person can develop a neuroendocrine tumor of the pancreas that secretes vasoactive intestinal polypeptide. This is not a regular pancreatic cancer and it is exceedingly rare. If it does happen, patients experience massive diarrhea. In fact, one of the names for this syndrome is "pancreatic cholera". It is also known as a VIPoma or WDHA syndrome. WDHA stands for Watery Diarrhea, Hypokalemia and Achlorhydria. Treatment would be resection if possible and if not some patients respond to a medicine called octreotide.

Continue Learning about Endocrine System

Endocrine System

Your endocrine system works with your nervous system to control important bodily functions. The endocrine systems responsibilities include regulating growth, sexual development and function, metabolism and mood. The endocrine syst...

em also helps give your body the energy it needs to function properly. Endocrine glands secrete hormones into the bloodstream. Hormones are considered chemical messengers, coordinating your body by transferring information from one set of cells to another. Your endocrine system health can be affected by hormone imbalances resulting from impaired glands. A hormone imbalance can cause problems with bodily growth, sexual development, metabolism and other bodily functions. Endocrine system diseases or conditions include diabetes, growth disorders and osteoporosis.

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