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Diagnostic value of serum pepsinogen C in patients with raised serum concentrations of pepsinogen A.
  1. I Biemond,
  2. J Kreuning,
  3. J B Jansen,
  4. C B Lamers
  1. Department of Gastroenterology, University Hospital, Leiden, The Netherlands.


    Hypopepsinogenaemia A is often found in patients with gastric atrophy and gastric surgery. In these conditions serum pepsinogen C provides additional diagnostic information, especially when expressed as pepsinogen A:C ratio. Hyperpepsinogenaemia A has been shown in patients with duodenal ulcer disease, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, hypertrophic gastropathy, chronic renal failure, and during omeprazole treatment. As patients with hyperpepsinogenaemia A often overlap in symptoms, endoscopical findings, and serum gastrin values, this study has evaluated whether measurement of serum pepsinogen C in subjects with hyperpepsinogenaemia A can help in differentiating clinical conditions. Serum concentrations of pepsinogen A and C were measured in serologically Helicobacter pylori negative blood transfusion donors (127) as reference population, and in patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (24), duodenal ulcer (50), hypertrophic gastropathy (5), and chronic renal failure (50), and also in reflux oesophagitis patients on longterm omeprazole treatment (28). A low pepsinogen A:C ratio was found in all patients with hypertrophic gastropathy. A pepsinogen A:C ratio above the critical value of 4.7 was found in 14 (70.0%) of the Zollinger-Ellison patients, two (9.5%) of the duodenal ulcer patients, 11 (25.6%) of the patients with chronic renal failure, and in one (7.1%) of the patients receiving longterm omeprazole treatment. In fact, all but three hyperpepsinogenaemia A patients with a pepsinogen A:C ratio greater than 4.7 and normal renal function had the Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. In patients with hyperpepsinogenaemia A, a low pepsinogen A:C ratio may point to hypertrophic gastropathy, while a pepsinogen A:C ratio greater than 4.7 is suggestive for the Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.

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