Zollinger-Ellison (ZE) syndrome is a rare disease of the gastrointestinal tract. It is produces severe and repeated peptic ulcers in the stomach, duodenum and/or the upper portion of the small intestine. The ulcers are caused by a greatly increased amount of stomach acid due to high levels of gastrin, the hormone that stimulates stomach acid production. In ZE, high gastrin levels are caused by gastrin-producing tumours called gastrinomas, which usually form in the duodenum but can be found in the pancreas and rarely in other parts of the body. More than half of them are malignant and can metastasise to other parts of the body, such as the liver. The tumours must be removed surgically, and sometimes total removal of the stomach is necessary to control the acid production.
2. How long will it take to get the results of my gastrin test?
Gastrin testing is performed using specialised equipment in a laboratory and not every laboratory will offer gastrin testing. In some cases, your sample may need to be sent to a reference laboratory and results may take a few weeks before they are reported.
3. Can’t I just take stomach medicines to treat my excess gastrin and stomach acid?
Stomach medications such as proton pump inhibitors may be prescribed as part of your treatment, but it is important to diagnose your underlying condition. Although gastrinomas are rare, more than half of them are cancerous and can spread to other parts of your body.
This article was last reviewed on 15 January 2010. | This article was last modified on 26 October 2011.
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