Menetrier disease is a rare disorder characterized by massive overgrowth of mucous cells (foveola) in the mucous membrane lining the stomach, resulting in large gastric folds. The main symptom associated with Menetrier disease is pain in the upper middle region of the stomach (epigastric pain). The cause of Menetrier disease is unknown.
Health care providers base the diagnosis of Ménétrier’s disease on a combination of symptoms, lab findings, findings on upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy, and stomach biopsy results. A health care provider will begin the diagnosis of Ménétrier’s disease by taking a patient’s medical and family history and performing a physical exam.
However, a health care provider will confirm the diagnosis of Ménétrier’s disease through a computerized tomography (CT) scan, an upper GI endoscopy, and a biopsy of stomach tissue. A health care provider also may order blood tests to check for infection with H. pylori or CMV.
Taking a medical and family history is one of the first things a health care provider may do to help diagnose Ménétrier’s disease. He or she will ask the patient to provide a medical and family history.
A physical exam may help diagnose Ménétrier’s disease. During a physical exam, a health care provider usually examines a patient’s body, uses a stethoscope to listen to bodily sounds, and taps on specific areas of the patient’s body.
CT scans use a combination of x rays and computer technology to create images. For a CT scan, a health care provider may give the patient a solution to drink and an injection of a special dye, called contrast medium.
CT scans require the patient to lie on a table that slides into a tunnel-shaped device where an x-ray technician takes x rays. An x-ray technician performs the procedure in an outpatient centre or a hospital, and a radiologist—a doctor who specializes in medical imaging—interprets them.
The patient does not need anaesthesia. CT scans can show enlarged folds in the stomach wall.
This procedure involves using an endoscope—a small, flexible tube with a light—to see the upper GI tract, which includes the oesophagus, stomach, and duodenum. A gastroenterologist—a doctor who specializes in digestive diseases—performs the test at a hospital or an outpatient centre.
The gastroenterologist carefully feeds the endoscope down the oesophagus and into the stomach. A small camera mounted on the endoscope transmits a video image to a monitor, allowing close examination of the stomach lining. The gastroenterologist also can take a biopsy of the stomach tissue during the endoscopy.
A health care provider may give a patient a liquid anaesthetic to gargle or may spray anaesthetic on the back of the patient’s throat. A health care provider will place an intravenous (IV) needle in a vein in the arm to administer sedation. Sedatives help patients stay relaxed and comfortable. The test can show enlarged folds in the stomach wall.
Biopsy is a procedure that involves taking a piece of stomach tissue for examination with a microscope. A gastroenterologist performs the biopsy at the time of upper GI endoscopy. A pathologist—a doctor who specializes in diagnosing diseases—examines the stomach tissue in a lab. The test can diagnose Ménétrier’s disease by showing changes in the stomach’s mucous cells and acid-producing cells.
A health care provider may also take a blood sample for blood test that can show the presence of infection with H. pylori or CMV. A blood test involves drawing blood at a health care provider’s office or a commercial facility and sending the sample to a lab for analysis.
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