In this survey the antral, pancreatic and, where present, the neoplastic gastrin cells, were studied in eight cases of the Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. The antral G cells alone were studied in one case of Z-E syndrome, seven cases of simple duodenal ulcer, and five cases of pernicious anaemia.
The Z-E cases were divided into two numerically equal groups. The first group had `short' histories, high serum gastrin levels, and profound antral G cell hyperplasia. The second group had `long' histories, relatively lower serum gastrin levels, normal antral G cells, and either pancreatic D cell hyperplasia or gastrinoma.
Antral G cell hyperplasia, with maximal gastrin storage and normal serum gastrin levels, was found in the duodenal ulcer cases. Antral G cell hyperplasia with minimal storage and high serum gastrin levels was observed in the cases of pernicious anaemia.
On the basis of our findings we propose that there exist at least two distinct types (or perhaps stages) of the Z-E syndrome. Suggestions for their pathogenesis are offered.
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