Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Gastrinoma Anatomy

To better understand Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, it helps to understand the anatomy of the esophagus and stomach.

The esophagus is a muscular tube that propels food from the mouth, to the stomach. It begins in the pharynx, just below the base of the tongue, and passes through the chest, next to the spine. It then passes through the diaphragm before emptying into the stomach.

The bottom of the esophagus opens (esophageal sphincter) during swallowing, and then closes after the food has entered the stomach. This prevents food from leaking back into the esophagus.

Anatomy examples:

  • Junction of esophagus and stomach
  • Entire intestinal tract

Last Updated: Nov 4, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Gastrinoma References
  1. Desir B, Poitras P. Oral pantoprazole for acid suppression in the treatment of patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Can J Gastroenterol. 2001 Dec;15(12):795-8. [11773945]
  2. Gibril F, Jensen RT. Advances in evaluation and management of gastrinoma in patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2005 May;7(2):114-21. [15802099]
  3. Gibril F, Jensen RT. Zollinger-Ellison syndrome revisited: diagnosis, biologic markers, associated inherited disorders, and acid hypersecretion. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2004 Dec;6(6):454-63. [15527675]
  4. Roy PK, Venzon DJ, Shojamanesh H, Abou-Saif A, Peghini P, Doppman JL, Gibril F, Jensen RT. Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Clinical presentation in 261 patients. Medicine (Baltimore). 2000 Nov;79(6):379-411. [11144036]
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