BMJ Case Reports 2012; doi:10.1136/bcr.12.2011.5327
  • Unusual association of diseases/symptoms

Primary hepatic gastrinoma presenting as vague gastrointestinal symptoms

  1. Suzanne Morrissey2
  1. 1West Penn Allegheny Health System, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  2. 2Department of Gastroenterology, West Penn Allegheny Health System, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Elie Aoun, eaoun{at}


A 51-year-old Caucasian female with a 7-year history of intermittent abdominal pain and diarrhoea presented to our service. Before presentation, she had been successfully treated for Helicobacter pylori infection, but later developed new oesophageal ulcerations with exudative lesions that were positive for herpes simplex virus, and candida oesophagitis had developed. Biopsies showed chronic inactive gastritis with gastric intestinal metaplasia. MRI revealed a solid 3.4×3 cm lesion in the caudate lobe of the liver, with a 7-mm pancreatic cyst. The aspirated pancreatic cyst cytology was benign. On exploratory laporatomy, the lesion appeared confined to the caudate lobe, and a resection was performed. The pathology was consistent with a well-differentiated neuroendocrine carcinoma with vascular invasion and involvement of the liver capsule, although resection margins were negative. The patient had complete symptomatic improvement. This case re-affirms the high index of suspicion needed to make the diagnosis of gastrinoma. If caught in time, surgical removal of primary hepatic gastrinoma can be curative.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

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