Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome and Peptic Ulcer
Zollinger-Ellison syndrome is a rare condition in which tumors called gastrinomas form in the pancreas or part of the upper small intestine (duodenum). The tumors secrete large amounts of a hormone called gastrin. Gastrin signals the stomach to produce more acid.
- At some point during their lives, 90% to 95% of people with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome develop peptic ulcers, usually in the upper small intestine (duodenum).
- Ulcers that occur in people with this syndrome are often hard to cure but usually can be controlled with a high dose of a proton pump inhibitor.
This syndrome is extremely rare, but it may be considered as a cause when a person has severe or repeated peptic ulcers.
- Zollinger-Ellison syndrome may occur at any age, but the symptoms are more likely to appear between the ages of 30 and 60.
- In up to two-thirds of people with this syndrome, the tumors are cancerous (malignant) and may spread to the lymph nodes and liver.
The main treatment for Zollinger-Ellison syndrome is removing the tumors causing the overproduction of acid and taking proton pump inhibitors. If this surgery is successful, you will no longer need to take medicines.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Jerome B. Simon, MD, FRCPC, FACP - Gastroenterology|
|Last Revised||January 28, 2010|
Last Revised: January 28, 2010
Author: Healthwise Staff
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