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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1986 May;62(5):970-4.

Evaluation of NH2-terminus gastrins in gastrinoma syndrome.


Forty-six patients with the gastrinoma syndrome were divided into 2 categories: 1) benign sporadic gastrinoma (n = 30), and 2) gastrinoma with metastases to liver (n = 16). Thirteen of the 46 patients had multiple endocrine neoplasia type I syndrome. Serum gastrin levels in patients fasted overnight were determined by RIA using antisera directed toward the NH2- and COOH-terminals of heptadecapeptide gastrin (G17) and the NH2-terminus of the triacontatetrapeptide (G34). These results were compared with findings in 50 normal subjects. In the normal subjects, the mean COOH-terminal gastrin-17 level was higher [65 +/- 8 (+/- SEM) pg/ml] than the NH2-terminal gastrin-17 level (11 +/- 0.2 pg/ml) and lower than the NH2-terminal gastrin-34 level (134 +/- 20 pg/ml). The levels of NH2-terminal gastrin-17 were higher in patients with metastatic disease than in those with benign gastrinoma, whereas the COOH-terminal gastrin-17 and the NH2-terminal gastrin-34 levels were similarly high in both groups. The mean ratio of NH2-terminal gastrin-17 to COOH-terminal gastrin-17 was less than 1 in normal subjects (0.22 +/- 0.02) and benign gastrinoma patients (0.2 +/- 0.04), and it was 2.2 +/- 0.41 in the patients with metastatic gastrinoma. An NH2 to COOH gastrin-17 ratio greater than 1 was found in 13 of 16 patients with metastatic gastrinoma, but in none of the patients with benign gastrinoma or normal subjects. Similar results were found in multiple endocrine neoplasia type I patients with benign and metastatic disease. A high NH2 to COOH gastrin-17 ratio is suggestive of metastatic gastrinoma. In 4 patients with metastatic gastrinoma, the NH2 to COOH gastrin-17 ratio fell in parallel with the response to chemotherapy.

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