Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome

Other Known Aliases Strøm-Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome

Definition – hypersecretory condition of the stomach caused by a gastrinoma

Clinical Significance Signs of symptoms of ZES include chronic diarrhea, steatorrhea, GERD, nausea, hematemesis, malabsorption, weight loss, and abdominal pain. This syndrome should be considered in any patient with refractory GERD or PUD. Diagnosis is confirmed with elevated fasting gastrin levels.

HistoryNamed after Robert Milton Zollinger (1903-1992) and Edwin Homer Ellison (1918-1970), who were both American general surgeons and both received their medical doctorates from Ohio State University in 1927 and 1940 respectively. Zollinger would go on to serve in mobile surgical teams during World War II in France and received the Legion of Merit Award and Battle Stars for his contributions. After the war, he would become chairman of the department of surgery at Ohio State in 1947, whee he would spend the majority of career. Ellison would distinguish himself in the realm of research and his career would culminate as chairman of surgery at Marquette School of Medicine in 1967. In 1955, they would present their postulation that hypersecretion of the stomach acid could be due to tumors at the American Surgical Association meeting in Philadelphia and would publish their findings later that year. It should be noted that Roar Strøm, a Norwegian physician, published his findings of this condition in 1952.


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  7. R. M. Zollinger, E. H. Ellison. Primary peptic ulcerations of the jejunum associated with islet cell tumors of the pancreas. Annals of Surgery, Philadelphia, 1955, 142: 709-728.

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