Zollinger-Ellison syndrome is a rare condition in which tumours called
gastrinomas form in the pancreas or part of the upper small intestine
(duodenum). The tumours 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
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
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
In up to two-thirds of people with this syndrome, the tumours
are cancerous (malignant) and may spread to the lymph nodes and liver.
The main treatment for Zollinger-Ellison syndrome is taking proton pump inhibitors and removing the
tumours causing the overproduction of acid. If
this surgery is successful, you will no longer need to take medicines.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerJerome B. Simon, MD, FRCPC, FACP - Gastroenterology