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Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2012 Dec;26(6):719-35. doi: 10.1016/j.bpg.2013.01.002.

Gastric and duodenal neuroendocrine tumours.

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Department of Gastroenterology and Clinical Medicine, St James's Hospital and Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.


Gastric neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs) are increasing in frequency and have a varied spectrum with regard to histology, clinicopathologic background, stage, and prognosis. They are usually discovered incidentally, are for the most part benign and are associated with hypergastrinaemia (secondary either to chronic atrophic gastritis or rarely Zollinger-Ellison syndrome; types 1 and 2, respectively) or more rarely sporadic type 3. Applications of recent staging and grading systems - namely using Ki-67 proliferative indices - (from ENETS and WHO 2010) can be particularly helpful in further categorising these tumours. The natural history of Type 1 gastric carcinoids is generally (>95%) favourable and simple surveillance is usually recommended for small (<1 cm) T1 tumours, with local (endoscopic or surgical) resection for larger lesions. Other potential therapies such as somatostatin analogues and gastrin receptor antagonists may offer newer therapeutic possibilities. Rarely, gastric NENs have a malignant course and this is usually confined to Type 2 and especially Type 3 tumours; the latter mimic the biological course of gastric adenocarcinoma and require radical oncological therapies. Most duodenal NENs, apart from gastrinomas (that are not dealt with here) are sporadic and non functional. They are also increasing in frequency probably due to incidental discovery at endoscopy or imaging for other reasons and this may account for their overall good prognosis. Peri-ampullary and ampullary NENs may have a more aggressive outcome and should be carefully appraised and treated (often with surgical resection).

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