What is Menetrier Disease?

By  ,  National Institute of Health
Jan 07, 2013

Ménétrier disease causes the ridges along the inside of the stomach wall—called rugae—to enlarge, forming giant folds in the lining of the stomach. The rugae enlarge because of an overgrowth of surface mucous cells of the stomach.


In a normal stomach, rugae release protein-containing mucus. Enlarged rugae release too much mucus, causing a leakage of protein from the blood into the stomach. This shortage of protein in the blood is known as hypoproteinemia. Ménétrier disease also causes a decrease in stomach acid resulting from a reduction in acid-producing parietal cells.


People with Ménétrier disease suffer from severe stomach pain, nausea, frequent vomiting, and other symptoms. They also have a higher risk of developing stomach cancer, also called gastric cancer.


Ménétrier disease is also called hypoproteinemic hypertrophic gastropathy.

Other conditions that can cause enlarged rugae but are not Ménétrier disease include

  • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome—a condition in which tumors in the pancreas cause the stomach to make too much acid
  • syphilis—a type of sexually transmitted bacterial infection
  • cytomegalovirus—a type of viral infection
  • histoplasmosis—a type of fungal infection
  • linitis plastica—a type of gastric cancer
  • gastric lymphoma—a type of cancer originating in the stomach


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