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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Menetrier disease

Other Names for this Disease
  • Gastroenteropathy, protein losing
  • Giant hypertrophic gastritis
  • Giant hypertrophic gastropathy
  • Giant hypertrophy of the gastric mucosa
  • Hypertrophic gastropathy
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Your Question

I am an adult woman who has been recently diagnosed with Ménétrier disease.  My symptoms seem to be worsening.  I am seeking information about the symptoms, cause(s), prognosis, genetic association, and treatment.  I am eager to hear from you and appreciate your assistance.

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What is Ménétrier disease?

Ménétrier disease is a condition characterized by inflammation and ulcers of the mucosa (inner lining) of the stomach and by overgrowth of the cells that make up the mucosa. [1] The condition is associated with the following signs: protein loss from the stomach, excessive mucus production, and hypochlorhydria (low levels of stomach acid) or achlorhydia (absent levels of stomach acid). [2]  Symptoms usually include vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss. The disease may increase an individual's risk of developing stomach cancer. [1][3]
Last updated: 8/14/2008

What symptoms are observed in Ménétrier disease?

Although some patients with Ménétrier disease may not experience symptoms, most patients have stomach pain, diarrhea, weight loss, peripheral edema, and sometimes bleeding. [4]
Last updated: 8/14/2008

What causes Ménétrier disease?

The exact cause of Ménétrier disease is unknown.  However, it has been associated with cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection in children and Heliobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection in adults. In addition, some have suggested that overexpression of a type of growth factor called the transforming growth factor-α, which is found in a specific part of the stomach, the superficial gastric epithelium, might play a role. [2]
Last updated: 8/14/2008

Is Ménétrier disease genetic?

Although the cause of Ménétrier disease is unknown, several cases of the condition have been reported in a familial setting. In a 2003 journal article titled "An unusual expression of hyperplastic gastropathy (Menetrier type) in twins," Ibarrola et al. described the first documented example of an occurrence in twins. They suggest that these two cases suggest the possibility of a genetic predisposition for this condition. [5] There have been several other reports of familial occurrences. You can read more about these cases by clicking here to access the information page on Ménétrier disease from Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM).
Last updated: 8/14/2008

What treatment is available for Ménétrier disease?

No one treatment has proven effective for all patients with Ménétrier disease; however, some benefit has been shown through the use of anticholinergic drugs, acid suppression, octreotide, and H. pylori eradication. Partial or complete removal of the stomach is generally recommended for those patients who continue to have protein loss or who have signs of pre-cancer or cancer. [2]

You can locate additional treatment information by searching PubMed, a searchable database of medical literature. Information on finding an article and its title, authors, and publishing details is listed here.  Some articles are available as a complete document, while information on other studies is available as a summary abstract.  To obtain the full article, contact a medical/university library (or your local library for interlibrary loan), or order it online using the following link. Using "menetrier disease AND treatment" as your search term should locate articles. To narrow your search, click on the “Limits” tab under the search box and specify your criteria for locating more relevant articles.  Click here to view a search.

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Web site has a page for locating libraries in your area that can provide direct access to these journals (print or online). The Web page also describes how you can get these articles through interlibrary loan and Loansome Doc (an NLM document-ordering service). You can access this page at the following link You can also contact the NLM toll-free at 888-346-3656 to locate libraries in your area.

Last updated: 8/14/2008

What prognosis is associated with Ménétrier disease?

Prognosis of Ménétrier disease varies from person to person. To better understand what the future might hold for you, you may want to consult with your health care provider.

Although it has been suggested that patients with Ménétrier may be at an increased risk of developing stomach cancer [1],  the association seems to occur in anywhere between 2% to 15% of patients with the condition. [6]
Last updated: 8/14/2008