Pathology Handbook




Clinical Indications

Diagnosis of the Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (gastrin-producing tumour)

Part of Profile

May be part of Gut Hormone profile 

Request Form

Request on ICE


Analysed by referral laboratory if specific criteria met.

Specific Criteria

Agreed with Consultant Biochemist. Please provide details of all drugs currently administered, details of any gastric surgery, basal and stimulated acid output.

Patient Preparation

Patient should be fasting. H2 antagonists should be stopped for 72 hours, and omeprazole for 2 weeks.

Turnaround Time

1 month


Plasma collected into lemon-top EDTA tube


2 ml


Vacutainer lemon top


Samples MUST ONLY be collected at Southend Hospital

Samples must be transported to laboratory immediately.

Sent to referral laboratory (Hammersmith Hospital)

Lab Handling

Separate the plasma in a refrigerated centrifuge and freeze within 15 minutes of venepuncture.

Causes for Rejection

Unlabelled or incorrectly labelled sample; delay in sample receipt;  haemolysis invalidates the result.

Reference Range

Less than 40 pmol/L

The most common cause of an increased gastrin is a slight degree of gastritis and relative hypochlorhydria. Thus gastric secretory studies must be done before making a diagnosis of gastrinoma. Levels are raised in renal failure