Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Gastrinoma Underlying Cause

Zollinger-Ellison syndrome is caused by a tumor in the pancreas or stomach, called a gastrinoma. Gastrinomas may be cancerous or non-cancerous. Gastrinomas stimulate stomach cells to produce acid constantly. The over-production of stomach acid results in the symptoms of Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.

The cause for gastrinoma is unknown, but genetics may play a role. Benign tumors can interfere with body functions, but do not spread to distant areas of the body. Malignant, or cancerous, tumors invade or destroy normal body tissue. Their cells break away from the original tumor and spread to other parts of the body.

Continue to Gastrinoma Anatomy

Last Updated: Sep 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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