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Monday, March 10, 2014
Gastrin and Sarcoidosis
I just read that gastrin levels can be elevated in someone with sarcoidosis. My gastrin levels range from 5 to 10 time the normal range.
What is the link between sarcoidosis and gastrin levels?
This is an excellent question. Gastrin has been measured in the lungs of patients with active sarcoidosis and is elevated. Gastrin can stimulate the immune system. Considered together, it is reasonable to speculate that gastrin may increase the activity of sarcoidosis. However, a causal relationship between elevated gastrin levels and more active sarcoidosis has not been shown. More research is needed because many correlations (e.g., high gastrin and sarcoidosis) turn out to be unrelated in terms of actually treating the disease.
For instance, high levels of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) has long been observed in sarcoidosis, and ACE can activate the immune system, but blocking the effects of ACE has never been shown to be beneficial for sarcoidosis management.
Obviously, a lot more research is needed to better understand what factors control the activity of sarcoidosis.
Elliott D Crouser, MD
Associate Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University