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Surgery. 1988 Dec;104(6):1046-53.

Antrectomy for multicentric, argyrophil gastric carcinoids: a preliminary report.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor.


Multicentric gastric carcinoids develop infrequently in association with atrophic gastritis, achlorhydria, and hypergastrinemia. These unusual tumors, thought to arise from proliferation of enterochromaffin-like (ECL) cells, have not been shown to secrete any measurable biogenic amines and usually grow slowly. Hypergastrinemia, which results from antral G cell stimulation secondary to atrophic gastritis, is believed to be the trophic stimulus, but alternative explanations include production of gastrin-releasing factor (GRF) or gastrin per se by the tumor. We recently encountered two patients with pentagastrin-resistant achlorhydria and multiple gastric carcinoids. Neither had symptoms of carcinoid syndrome. Urinary 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid and serum human pancreatic polypeptide, vasoactive intestinal peptide, and motilin values were normal. Fasting gastrin values were nearly 1800 pg/ml. Antrectomy and regional lymphadenectomy was performed in each patient. The tumors were locally invasive with penetration through the submucosa. One patient had regional lymph node involvement, and one had an isolated hepatic metastasis. Immunohistochemical stain tests were positive in both patients for neuron-specific enolase and chromogranin, with focal positive staining for gastrin and serotonin. Serum gastrin levels decreased to less than 25 pg/ml after antrectomy. Evaluation with upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and biopsy examination 4 to 6 months after antrectomy showed complete regression of disease in one patient and residual neoplasm in one patient, despite normal serum gastrin levels. Additional studies with careful long-term follow-up will be needed to determine whether antrectomy eliminates the hypergastrinemia associated with enterochromaffin-like hyperplasia and leads to regression of disease.

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