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A prospective study of intraoperative methods to diagnose and resect duodenal gastrinomas.

Annals of Surgery 1993 August
OBJECTIVE: This study determined, prospectively, whether duodenotomy (DX) should be routinely performed in explorations for patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (ZES).

SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: Duodenal gastrinomas are now being found with increasing frequency in patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. The surgical approach used to detect these tumors is controversial. Some recommend intraoperative endoscopy with transillumination (IOE) at surgery, while others recommend routine DX.

METHODS: Beginning in 1989, the authors prospectively compared the ability of palpation, intraoperative ultrasound (IOUS), IOE, and DX (in that sequence) to detect gastrinomas in 35 consecutive patients with ZES. Each patient also underwent preoperative localization studies.

RESULTS: Thirty-three of 35 patients (94%) had tumor detected and excised; duodenal gastrinomas were excised in 27 patients (77%). The average size of the duodenal tumors was 0.8 cm, significantly smaller (p < 0.005) than the pancreatic and lymph node tumors in this series. Standard palpation after a Kocher maneuver identified 19 of the 31 duodenal tumors (61%) in the 27 patients. IOUS revealed only eight duodenal tumors (26%) and no new lesions. IOE identified 20 duodenal gastrinomas (64%) and 6 new lesions. DX identified 31 duodenal tumors (100%) and 5 additional tumors. The morbidity rate was 17%. One patient had a duodenal fistula after operation (2.8%) and subsequently recovered. No patient died.

CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that the duodenum is the most common location for gastrinoma in patients with ZES (77%) and that DX to detect and remove duodenal gastrinomas should be routinely performed in all explorations for patients with ZES.

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