Giant Hypertrophic Gastritis
This is a premalignant disorder of the stomach characterized by overgrowth of the stomach lining (the gastric mucosa) and hypoalbuminemia (low blood serum level of albumin) due to loss of albumin by the stomach. The abnormalities of the stomach are highly characteristic with giant folds, excess mucus secretion by the lining of the stomach, and hypochlorhydria (decreased acid secretion by the stomach). The disease tends to lead to stomach cancer. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, pain in the abdomen, swelling, poor appetite, and weight loss. The cause of the disease is not known, although infections with cytomegalovirus and Helicobacter pylori have been suspected to play a role. In some families, siblings have had the disease, due possibly to autosomal recessive inheritance. The overgrowth of the stomach lining (gastric hypertrophy) appears to be due to activation of the receptor for epidermal growth factor in the stomach.
Treatment of severe disease can involve partial or complete removal of the stomach. Treatment with a monoclonal antibody against the epidermal growth factor receptor has been reported to result in marked reduction in the frequency of nausea and vomiting, an increase in the serum albumin concentration, and improvement in the abnormalities of the stomach. The disease is also known by a confusing number of other names including giant hypertrophy of gastric mucosa, hypertropic gastritis, hypertrophic hypoproteinemic gastropathy, hypoproteinemic hypertrophic gastropathy, Menetrier disease, Menetrier disease, and Menetrier’s disease (after the French physician Pierre E, Menetrier (1859-1935) who first described it in 1888).