Ectopic gastrinoma and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome

Belur S. Bhagavan, Richard E. Slavin, Jorge Goldberg, Raghunatha N. Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


In Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (ZES), the discovery of gastrinomas in unusual locations, such as a lymph node, poses a diagnostic problem centered on whether the neoplasm is primary or metastatic. The clinical, gross, microscopic, immunocytochemical, and ultrastructural features of ectopic gastrinomas were studied in four patients with ZES, and reports of 14 similar cases were reviewed. These extragastroenteropancreatic (EGEP) gastrinomas have many of the morphologic features of gastrinomas in conventional locations. However, the centrifugal expansile growth pattern, characterized by a thick fibrous capsule, hyalinized fibrous septa, and, frequently, cystic degenerative changes in EGEP gastrinomas should alert the pathologist to the probability that these neoplasms are primary. Additional evidence for the primary nature of these EGEP gastrinomas is derived from the postoperative normalization of high serum gastrin levels and the correction of the abnormal gastrin response to secretin challenge or to calcium infusion tests. Increased awareness of the occurrence and features of these EGEP gastrinomas is crucial for both pathologists and surgeons to ensure proper evaluation and treatment of patients with ZES.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)584-592
Number of pages9
JournalHuman pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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