Menetrier Disease - A Rare GI Condition

Posted Monday, October 16, 2017

Did You Know? Menetrier Disease is more common in men

Menetrier Disease Causes an Enlargment of the Gastric Folds of the Stomach

Menetrier Disease is Rare and the Average Age at Diagnosis is 55

Menetrier Disease goes by many names – Giant Hypertropic Gastritis, Protein Losing Gastroenteropathy, Giant Hypertrophic Gastropathy, but what is it? Menetrier Disease is a gastrointestinal (GI) condition characterized by an overgrowth of the mucous cells in the lining of the stomach. Learn more about Menetrier Disease, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment in the following summary.

01 | What is Menetrier Disease?

In a normal stomach, mucous cells in the ridges of the stomach lining, or rugae, release protein-containing mucus. In Menetrier Disease, the rugae enlarge and form giant folds in the stomach lining. Too much mucus is released causing proteins to leak from the blood into the stomach. 

Although the exact cause of Menetrier Disease is unknown, studies have found that patients have abnormally high levels of TGF-α. Studies have also found a link between Menetrier Disease and H. pylori infection, as well as cytomegalovirus (CMV). 

02 | Signs and Symptoms

While some individuals may not exhibit any symptoms, most patients complain of pain in the upper middle part of the abdomen (epigastric pain). Other symptoms include:

  • Nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Malnutrition and extreme weight loss
  • Low levels of protein in the blood
  • Swelling of the face, abdomen, limbs and feet
  • Anemia

03 | Diagnosis

A diagnosis of Menetrier Disease is confirmed through a CT scan, upper GI endoscopy and a biopsy of the stomach tissue. These tests, along with a physical exam and medical and family history will help determine a positive diagnosis.

04 | Treatment

Treatment will likely include a combination of therapies, including the following:

  • Medication – Cetuximab is an anticancer medication indicated for the treatment of Menetrier Disease. It blocks the activity of epidermal growth factor receptor, improving the patient’s symptoms. Antibiotics and/or antivirals may be prescribed for patients with H. pylori of CMV infections.
  • IV Protein and Blood Transfusions – for cases of severe malnutrition or anemia.
  • Surgery – In cases with significant protein loss, a surgeon may need to remove part or all of the stomach by means of a gastrectomy.

For more information on Menetrier Disease, please visit: https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/menetrier-disease/

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References

https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/2436/menetrier-disease

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/menetriers-disease

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