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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2009 May 15;29(10):1055-68. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2009.03976.x. Epub 2009 Feb 18.

Review article: Strategies to determine whether hypergastrinaemia is due to Zollinger-Ellison syndrome rather than a more common benign cause.

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1
School of Clinical Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

As there is considerable overlap between the fasting serum gastrin concentrations found in Zollinger-Ellison syndrome and various common conditions such as Helicobacter pylori infection and acid suppressing medication use, establishing the cause of hypergastrinaemia in individual cases can sometimes be difficult.

AIM:

To review the causes of hypergastrinaemia and the role of additional non-invasive investigations in hypergastrinaemic patients.

METHODS:

Review of articles following a Pubmed search.

RESULTS:

As gastrinomas may cause serious complications and be potentially life threatening, investigation of hypergastrinaemic patients should particularly focus on confirming or refuting the diagnosis of Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Establishing the cause of hypergastrinaemia may be difficult when there is only a mild-to-moderate elevation of fasting serum gastrin concentration and concurrent treatment with proton pump inhibitor drugs and the presence of H. pylori infection can both confuse the clinical picture. A variety of provocative tests are therefore useful for establishing whether a hypergastrinaemic patient has a gastrinoma and current evidence suggests that the secretin test should be used first line.

CONCLUSIONS:

We suggest an algorithm for the investigation of patients found to have an elevated fasting serum gastrin concentration and address the roles of gastrin stimulation tests in current clinical practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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