The utility of serum gastrin levels in assessing the significance of low serum B12 levels

Arch Intern Med. 1984 Jun;144(6):1167-8.


Elevated levels of serum gastrin as a consequence of gastric achlorhydria are characteristic of clinical pernicious anemia. In a largely male hospitalized population with an average age of 64 years, 7.7% had low levels of serum B12 (less than 170 pg/mL); only 2.5% of these had frank pernicious anemia. In an attempt to separate a subgroup with low levels of serum B12 in whom pernicious anemia may later develop, their serum gastrin levels were determined. Twenty-two percent had high values and, of these, 70% had low B12 absorptions. In patients with low serum B12 levels, serum gastrin assays may be useful in determining those in whom clinical pernicious anemia seems likely to develop.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Pernicious / diagnosis*
  • Gastrins / blood*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Vitamin B 12 / blood*
  • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency / diagnosis*


  • Gastrins
  • Vitamin B 12