Gastric stasis and duodenogastric reflux have each been implicated in the pathogenesis of various upper gastrointestinal disorders. However, the relationship between intragastric bile and gastric emptying has not been explored. In each of nine healthy volunteers (seven men and two women, ages 22–47 years), gastric emptying of 300 ml 10% dextrose labeled with [99mTc]DTPA was measured twice using gamma camera imaging. During one study, 20 min after ingestion of the test meal, 525 mg of freeze-dried, sterilized human T-tube bile dissolved in 20 ml water was introduced into the stomach via a previously sited fine-bore nasogastric tube. Intragastric bile salt concentrations were calculated to be within the range 1.7–2.9 mM. In control studies, 20 ml of water alone was similarly introduced. Emptying at 20 min was comparable for both groups of studies (38±3% vs 39±4%; mean values±sem).For each individual study, emptying from 20 to 60 min was well represented by a single exponential function (r=0.81–0.99). Half-emptying times for curves fitted over this period were similar in the two groups (bile: T 1/2=18.8±2.6 min; control T12=18.8±1.9 min). These results indicate that intragastric bile, in concentrations similar to those found in patients with gastric ulcer, has no effect on gastric emptying of dextrose in normal subjects.
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