Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) - plasma

Last updated: Wednesday, 31, March, 2004

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Item Process
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.