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Gastroenterology. 1990 Oct;99(4):943-50.

The effect of Zollinger-Ellison syndrome and omeprazole therapy on gastric oxyntic endocrine cells.

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Digestive Diseases Branch, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.


In 1983, all trials of omeprazole in humans were stopped because rats given the drug developed gastric endocrine cell hyperplasia and carcinoid tumors. Further studies in rats showed that drug-induced achlorhydria and hypergastrinemia caused these changes. Because data in humans are limited, we compared the numbers of endocrine cells, as judged by silver staining (argyrophilia), in the gastric mucosa of patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, who are hypergastrinemic, and in normogastrinemic patients with idiopathic acid-peptic diseases. In addition, we analyzed the number of gastric endocrine cells in patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome given omeprazole for up to 3 years. Patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome had 15.7% +/- 6.9% argyrophil cells in biopsies of gastric oxyntic mucosa, and patients with idiopathic acid-peptic disease had 7.8% +/- 2.3% (P less than 0.01). In patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, the percentage of argyrophil cells was not related to serum gastrin concentration, duration of symptoms, time since diagnosis, basal or maximal acid output, extent of tumor, or age. There was a tendency for patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 to have a greater percent of argyrophil cells than patients with sporadic Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Considering the biopsies from both normogastrinemic and hypergastrinemic patients, there was a significant relationship between the percentage of argyrophil cells and the serum concentration of gastrin (P less than 0.01). Patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome given omeprazole for up to 3 years developed no significant changes in percentage of argyrophil cells, no carcinoid tumors, and no changes in serum concentrations of gastrin. The present study shows that patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome have an increased percentage of argyrophil cells in oxyntic mucosa and that omeprazole does not increase this percentage. In periods of up to 3 years, omeprazole had no effects on gastric morphology in patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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