CASE REPORTS
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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The Zollinger-Ellison syndrome: dangers and consequences of interrupting antisecretory treatment.

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (ZES) are treated by proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to protect them from severe and potentially lethal peptic complications related to massive gastric acid hypersecretion. We report here on the dangerous consequences of interrupting PPI therapy.

METHODS: We describe 2 ZES patients in whom interruption of PPI treatment for diagnostic evaluation generated severe health complications.

RESULTS: Less than 48 hours after stopping PPIs, patient 1 developed multiple strictures of the esophagus caused by massive vomiting of gastric acid, and patient 2 presented with severe abdominal pain with intestinal microperforation from duodenal ulcers. Because of persistent gastrin stimulatory drive and because of the abolition of reflex protective defense mechanisms against gastric acid hypersecretion during PPI treatment, patients with ZES under PPI therapy are exposed to severe peptic complications when facing rebound acid secretion at the interruption of their antisecretory treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: PPI treatment interruption has dangerous consequences, and PPI therapy always should be maintained in patients known or suspected of ZES. Diagnostic evaluations should be performed under PPI protection.

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