Use of salivary acetaminophen concentration to assess gastric emptying rate of liquids
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The gastric emptying rate (GER) of liquids can be quantified by calculating the rate of acetaminophen absorption from serial plasma concentrations. As acetaminophen concentrations in saliva are well correlated with those in plasma, the salivary concentrations may be suitable for use in GER measurement. To evaluate such suitability, salivary and plasma samples were simultaneously obtained from seven healthy volunteers at 0, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 h after they had ingested 20 mg/kg of acetaminophen mixed with a 200-ml liquid meal (200 kcal). Commonly used parameters for the rate of acetaminophen absorption were calculated from the salivary and plasma data, including the maximum concentration (Cmax), the time to Cmax (tmax), the concentration at 0.75 h (C0.75), the area under the curve from 0 to 1.0 h (AUC1.0), and the AUC0.5/AUC2.0 ratio. The mean (SD) salivary/plasma concentration ratio was 2.48 (1.47) at 0.25 h, and the means were almost unity afterwards. Significant correlations between saliva and plasma were found in all parameters studied (r = 0.77–0.90; P < 0.05). However, except for tmax, the salivary parameters overestimated those of plasma. The present results suggest that: (1) the salivary acetaminophen concentration at 0.25 h (C0.25) is a poor reflection of plasma C0.25, (2) thereby the parameters embodying salivary C0.25, such as AUC1.0 and the AUC0.5/AUC2.0 ratio, are unreliable, and (3) liquid GER can be assessed by salivary tmax with minimal distress to the patient.
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