Background: Type-1 gastric neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) arise in some patients with chronic hypergastrinaemia secondary to autoimmune atrophic gastritis. Patients with small tumours are usually managed conservatively, because their prognosis is very good. However, larger tumours may require surgical intervention. Many type-1 gastric NETs regress following antrectomy because this removes the source of hypergastrinaemia. However, some tumours do not regress following antrectomy and additional surgery may be required. An octreotide suppression test has been previously suggested as a means to assess whether type-1 gastric NETs are likely to regress following antrectomy.
Aim: To prospectively examine the role of a short-term intravenous octreotide suppression test in predicting type-1 gastric NET regression in five patients who subsequently underwent antrectomy.
Materials and methods: Serum gastrin concentrations and gastric corpus and tumour histidine decarboxylase mRNA abundances were assessed in patients with type-1 gastric NETs before and 72 h after the administration of 25 µg/h intravenous octreotide. Gastric tumour response was assessed endoscopically following subsequent antrectomy.
Results: All patients showed significant decreases in serum gastrin concentrations as well as corpus and tumour biopsy histidine decarboxylase mRNA abundance following octreotide infusion. All patients also showed resolution of hypergastrinaemia following subsequent antrectomy. However, tumour regression was only observed in four of the five patients. One patient had a persistent tumour 3 years after antrectomy and required additional surgical resection.
Conclusion: A positive octreotide suppression test result does not always predict response to antrectomy in patients with type-1 gastric NETs. Assessment of gastric mucosal responses to a gastrin/CCK-2 receptor antagonist may therefore also be helpful.