Causes of gastric wall thickening

What are some causes of gastric wall thickening?

Gastritis and gastric malignancy are the most common causes of gastric wall thickening.

Gastritis can be acute or chronic and is caused by various etiologies including aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), alcohol, tobacco, stress, trauma, burn injury, Crohn’s disease, or infection.

Of the various infectious etiologies, Helicobacter pylori is the most common cause of chronic gastritis.

Ménétrier’s disease is a rare idiopathic cause of gastric wall thickening and usually involves the gastric fundus and body.

Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (ZES) is related to increased gastric acid secretion and associated severe peptic ulcer disease caused by the increased secretion of the hormone gastrin by a gastrinoma or carcinoid tumor.

An important issue for the early diagnosis is the ability of CT to differentiate the gastric wall structure and the gastric wall thickness of pathological origins.

Increased wall thickness in CT may not always be a sign of malignancy. Gastric wall thickness may also increase due to benign reasons such as gastritis, ulcers, polyps, tuberculosis, Crohn’s disease, and Menetrier’s disease.

Early endoscopy and biopsy evaluations are required to conclude that the wall thickness is due to malignancy.

Some Causes of Gastric Wall Thickening

  • • Gastritis
  • • Malignancy (adenocarcinoma, lymphoma, metastatic disease)
  • • Ménétrier’s disease
  • • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (ZES)
  • • Caustic ingestion
  • • Radiation therapy
  • • Gastric varices
  • • Acute pancreatitis

A case of diffuse gastric wall thickening that presented with long-standing chronic diarrhea and on evaluation was found to be having pancreatic gastrinoma.


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