Gastrinomas and the change in their presentation and management in Northern Ireland, UK, from 1970 to 1996

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Abstract

Thirty-five new cases of gastrinomas were diagnosed in N. Ireland between 1970 and 1996. Over this period, patient care has improved, with advances in imaging techniques and therapeutic regimens. Patients are now no longer presenting in the classical way with severe ulcer diathesis. Diarrhoea is often a major feature, occurring in 46° of patients. Thirty-one percent of patients presented with mixed amine precursor, uptake and decarboxylation (APUD) tumours. Survival has improved, most likely as a result of better detection of tumours, as well as treatment that is aimed at resection and removal of the gastrinoma. The advent of proton pump inhibitors has ensured symptom control in those for whom total tumour removal is impossible. Owing to improved survival, metastatic complications are often associated with patient mortality.

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