In 1952, Norwegian surgeon Roar Strøm (1903-58) published the medical history of a 32-year-old man with recurrent peptic ulcer disease and a pancreatic tumour. Three years later, two American surgeons described a similar condition and, only the following year, the condition was named after them: Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Strøm's contribution has gone remarkably unrecognised. This article aims to highlight his professional achievements.
We searched archives and reference databases for information on Roar Strøm.
Roar Strøm grew up in Oslo, where he graduated with a medical degree in 1926, at just 23 years of age. Strøm pursued a focused career in surgery: specialist in surgery in 1935, medical doctorate in 1942, and senior consultant in surgery at Rogaland Hospital in Stavanger over the period 1945-1956. While in Stavanger, he published the extensive case history in Acta Chirurgica Scandinavica. The patient had a multi-year medical history of peptic ulcers, for which he had undergone surgery twice previously before being operated on by Strøm in the spring of 1951. The man died two years after the last operation.
Neither Strøm nor Zollinger and Ellison were the first to identify this clinical condition as a new disease entity. But Strøm's article was an important contribution to the early literature on the syndrome.