Zollinger–Ellison Syndrome is caused by a gastrin-secreting tumor and characterized by severe peptic ulceration, gastric hypersecretion and elevated serum gastrin.
Individuals with Zollinger Ellison syndrome exhibit the following signs and symptoms:
A complete medical history will be gathered and the signs and symptoms studied. If a family history of MEN I exist then the chances of ZES will be higher. In addition, the following diagnostic tests will be done in order to draw an appropriate conclusion:
Removal of the tumor and suppression of excessive acid production are the basis of treatment regime. In many cases, if the tumors are successfully removed then acid suppressing medications would rarely be required. The following methods are employed to treat ZES:
The long-term prognosis of ZES is good. Medications to suppress the excessive acid production usually work well to relieve the symptoms.
Timely diagnosis of the disease is necessary to prevent the onset of various secondary complications. The various complications of ZES include the following:
Tumors usually located in the pancreas or the small intestine call for the development of ZES. These tumors are producing the hormone gastrin and are termed as gastrinomas. Gastrinomas can appear as single tumors or as a group. Of the total tumors that develop, about 60% of them are malignant in nature. As a result of this, the cancer spreads to the neighboring sites and affects the lymph nodes and the liver.
ZES can also be caused as secondary condition to individuals suffering from multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN 1). In such individuals, in addition to pancreas, tumors develop in the endocrine system as well.
It has been estimated that ZES occurs in about 0.1 to 1% individuals of the US. Due to improvised treatment profile of the disease condition, there has been a significant decrease in its morbidity and mortality rates. Due to this, as low as 5% of the individuals suffering from ZES develop complications.
The excessive production of acid by the gastrin hormone causes the levels of acid to increase. As a result of large quantity of acid, gastrointestinal mucosal ulceration develops. Due to this, individuals with ZES suffer from diarrhea and malabsorption. Causation of malabsorption in individuals affected by ZES actually occurs due to multiple factors. These are the following:
Zollinger Ellison syndrome (ZES) is characterized by increased production of the hormone gastrin. It is a disease of the gastrointestinal system, wherein presence of tumors stimulates production of excessive gastrin causing increased formation of acid in the stomach . The overproduction of acid in turn leads to development of peptic ulcers. It is a rare disease condition and affects individuals in the age group of 30 to 50 years.
Zollinger Ellison syndrome (ZES) is characterized by excessive production of acid in the stomach due to tumors in the pancreas and duodenum. This is a rare disease condition and usually strikes individuals in age group of 30 to 50 years.
Symptoms of ZES include abdominal pain, diarrhea, unintended weight loss, anemia, gastrointestinal bleeding, loss of appetite, heart burn due to acid reflux, discomfort in the upper abdomen with pain and gnawing.
Blood tests and fasting serum gastrin tests are the primary diagnostic tools employed for detecting ZES. In addition to these, imaging studies such as CT scan and MRI are done for localizing the tumors. Endoscopic ultrasound is also necessary to spot the exact position of the tumor. Biopsy of the tumor is also carried out to study its nature.