A Perplexing Case of Abdominal Pain That Led to the Diagnosis of Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome
Case Rep Gastrointest Med 2017; 2017:7636952.
Case Rep Gastrointest Med
Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (ZES) is a rare clinical disorder, characterized by hypersecretion of gastric acid and multiple ulcers distal to the duodenal bulb. This occurs via the release of gastrin by neuroendocrine tumors known as gastrinomas. Patients with ZES present with nonspecific GI symptoms, which often leads to a delay in diagnosis. Our patient is a 55-year-old female with chronic abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea. She underwent EGD, EUS, MRCP, CT scans, and cholecystectomy, which did not reveal the cause of her symptoms. Repeat EGD showed a cratered ulcer in the second portion of the duodenum, suspicious for ZES. Serum gastrin was initially only moderately elevated while on PPI therapy, but chromogranin A was also elevated. Repeat gastrin level after stopping PPI therapy was 1639 pg/mL. Somatostatin receptor scintigraphy was obtained, which showed two small lesions in the gastrinoma triangle. She subsequently underwent a Whipple pancreaticoduodenectomy and pathology was positive for four microscopic foci of a neuroendocrine tumor. She reported improvement in her symptoms after surgery. This case highlights the need for increased awareness of ZES in patients with unexplained GI complaints and emphasizes the use of multiple modalities in the diagnosis of ZES.