Gastrin Most Popular

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The Gastrin test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.

Brief Description: A Gastrin test is a blood test that measures the level of gastrin hormone in the blood. Gastrin is a peptide hormone that plays a crucial role in regulating the secretion of gastric acid in the stomach. This test helps in diagnosing and monitoring conditions related to abnormal gastrin levels.

Also Known As: Gastrinomas Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: Overnight fasting (12 hours) required

When is a Gastrin test ordered?

When a patient experiences diarrhea, abdominal pain, and/or recurring peptic ulcers that do not improve after treatment and that the doctor feels are brought on by excessive gastrin production, a gastrin test may be recommended. When a patient's gastrin level is moderately increased and a doctor feels they may have a gastrinoma, they may be given a gastrin stimulation test.

A periodic gastrin test may be requested as a screening test to check for recurrence after a gastrin-producing tumor has been excised.

What does a Gastrin test check for?

The "G-cells" in the antrum, a region of the stomach, create the hormone called "gastrin." During the digestion process, it controls the amount of acid produced in the stomach. To assess a person with recurrent peptic ulcers and/or other severe gastrointestinal symptoms, this test analyzes the level of gastrin in the blood.

The antrum of the stomach swells as food is consumed, and the meal itself causes gastrin to be released. The production of stomach acid is then stimulated by the hormone gastrin. Acidity aids in food digestion, and when it increases, it eventually inhibits the release of gastrin. Low levels of gastrin are often produced by this feedback system, especially while a person is fasting. An excess of gastrin and stomach acid can be brought on by uncommon disorders such G-cell hyperplasia and gastrinomas, including Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Aggressive peptic ulcers that are challenging to treat may result from this.

Gastrinomas are tumors that make gastrin. One or more gastrinomas can result in ZE syndrome, which is characterized by excessive gastrin levels, significantly increased stomach acid production, and peptic ulcers. Despite the fact that the pancreas' endocrine cells don't typically produce gastrin, gastrinomas frequently develop there. More than half of them are cancerous, leading to cancer that can spread to different organs including the liver. Large amounts of gastrin can be produced by even the smallest tumors.

Lab tests often ordered with a Gastrin test:

When a Gastrin test is ordered, it's often part of a broader evaluation of gastrointestinal function and disorders. Here are some tests commonly ordered alongside it:

  1. Complete Blood Count (CBC):

    • Purpose: To evaluate overall blood health, including red and white blood cells, and platelets.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To check for signs of anemia, which can occur with chronic gastritis and other gastrointestinal conditions associated with high gastrin levels.
  2. Liver Function Test:

    • Purpose: To assess liver health.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To rule out liver diseases, as liver dysfunction can impact various gastrointestinal hormones and enzymes.
  3. Serum Calcium:

    • Purpose: To measure the level of calcium in the blood.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Elevated calcium levels can stimulate excess gastrin production, and conditions like hyperparathyroidism should be ruled out.
  4. Chromogranin A:

    • Purpose: To detect the presence of neuroendocrine tumors.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Gastrin-producing tumors (gastrinomas) are often neuroendocrine in nature, and Chromogranin A is a marker for these types of tumors.
  5. Stool Test for Helicobacter pylori:

    • Purpose: To detect H. pylori infection in the stomach.
    • Why Is It Ordered: H. pylori infection is a common cause of chronic gastritis and can result in elevated gastrin levels.

These tests, when ordered alongside a Gastrin test, provide a comprehensive assessment of gastrointestinal health and help diagnose the cause of symptoms such as abdominal pain, ulcers, and excessive gastric acid production. They are crucial for diagnosing conditions associated with high gastrin levels and guiding appropriate treatment strategies. The specific combination of tests will depend on the individual's symptoms, clinical presentation, and preliminary test results.

Conditions where a Gastrin test is recommended:

A Gastrin test is a blood test that measures the level of gastrin hormone in the blood. Gastrin is a peptide hormone that plays a crucial role in regulating the secretion of gastric acid in the stomach. This test helps in diagnosing and monitoring conditions related to abnormal gastrin levels.

How does my health care provider use a Gastrin test?

The main purpose of the gastrin test is to identify cases of excessive gastrin and stomach acid production. It is used to assist in the diagnosis of Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, hyperplasia of G-cells, and gastrinomas, which are gastrin-producing tumors. The stomach's G-cells are specialized cells that create gastrin, which boosts the production of gastric acid.

After a gastrinoma has been surgically removed, a gastrin test may be used to check for recurrence.

Therefore, if the initial gastrin test result is moderately but not significantly high and the healthcare professional feels that a person's symptoms are brought on by a gastrinoma, a gastrin stimulation test may be conducted to provide additional information. This process entails taking a baseline sample of gastrin, administering a drug to the patient to increase gastrin synthesis, and then taking more blood samples at certain intervals for gastrin testing. After secretin administration, the other sources of high gastrin won't exhibit a rise.

To aid in the diagnosis of ZE syndrome, a measurement of the pH level of gastric acid may occasionally be requested before, during, or after a gastrin test.

What do my Gastrin test results mean?

It is uncommon to be concerned about low or normal blood levels of gastrin.

A number of diseases and illnesses, including ZE syndrome, pernicious anemia, G-cell hyperplasia, chronic atrophic gastritis, chronic kidney failure, and pyloric blockage, can cause somewhat elevated levels.

A person is likely to have ZE syndrome and one or more gastrinomas if their gastrin levels are significantly elevated in symptomatic persons and increase significantly after a gastrin stimulation test. In order to find the gastrinomas, imaging tests may be prescribed as a follow-up to elevated gastrin concentrations. Both the size and the number of tumors have no effect on how much gastrin is produced. Large volumes of gastrin can be produced by even small tumors.

Following surgical resection of a gastrinoma, low-grade gastrin levels that later rise could indicate a return of the tumor. Concentrations that remain elevated following treatment may be a sign that it wasn't entirely successful.

Most Common Questions About the Gastrin test:

Clinical Indications and Applications

What are the primary purposes for ordering a Gastrin test?

The Gastrin test is typically ordered to help diagnose and monitor certain digestive disorders, such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (ZES), chronic atrophic gastritis, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It can assist in identifying tumors in the pancreas or duodenum that produce gastrin (gastrinomas) or assessing the overproduction of stomach acid.

How is the Gastrin test used in the management of Zollinger-Ellison syndrome?

In the management of Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, a condition characterized by tumors that lead to excessive stomach acid production, the Gastrin test can aid in both diagnosis and monitoring. Elevated gastrin levels can indicate the presence of gastrin-secreting tumors, and the test may be used to monitor treatment effectiveness and disease recurrence.

Interpretation of Results

What do elevated levels of Gastrin indicate in the Gastrin test?

Elevated levels of gastrin in the Gastrin test may indicate conditions like Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, chronic atrophic gastritis, or pernicious anemia. Elevated gastrin levels could also be due to the prolonged use of proton pump inhibitors or other medications that reduce stomach acid.

What do low levels of Gastrin indicate in the Gastrin test?

Low levels of gastrin in the test might suggest conditions that lead to decreased stomach acid production, such as after stomach surgery or with antacid medication overuse. However, low gastrin levels are generally less diagnostic than elevated levels.

Relationship with Other Medical Conditions and Medications

How does the Gastrin test relate to other gastrointestinal conditions like GERD?

The Gastrin test can provide insights into gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) by assessing gastrin levels. While not a primary diagnostic tool for GERD, elevated gastrin levels might suggest increased stomach acid production, contributing to GERD symptoms.

Can certain medications affect the results of the Gastrin test?

Yes, medications like proton pump inhibitors, histamine blockers, or antacids can affect gastrin levels, potentially leading to elevated gastrin levels in the Gastrin test. Knowledge of medication usage is essential for accurate interpretation of test results.

Guidelines and Recommendations

What are the recommended reference ranges for the Gastrin test?

Reference ranges for the Gastrin test may vary between laboratories, but generally, normal gastrin levels may fall within 30-100 pg/mL. Values outside this range could indicate underlying health conditions, requiring further evaluation.

When is the Gastrin test typically ordered in clinical practice?

The Gastrin test may be ordered when a patient presents with symptoms suggestive of Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, such as recurrent peptic ulcers, chronic diarrhea, or unexplained weight loss. It might also be used in the assessment of chronic atrophic gastritis or other gastrointestinal disorders.

Diagnostic Tools and Procedures

How does the Gastrin test relate to other diagnostic tools like endoscopy?

The Gastrin test may be used in conjunction with endoscopy or other imaging studies for comprehensive evaluation and diagnosis. For instance, in suspected Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, the Gastrin test might be used to assess gastrin levels, while endoscopy or imaging may be utilized to locate tumors.

What procedures are commonly performed alongside the Gastrin test in diagnosing gastrointestinal disorders?

The Gastrin test may be performed alongside other tests and procedures like upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, CT scans, or MRI to provide a more comprehensive view of the gastrointestinal tract. The combination of these tools can help in diagnosing and managing various gastrointestinal disorders, including identifying tumors, ulcers, or other abnormalities.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

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