Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 671–676 | Cite as

Effect of Aging on Transpyloric Flow, Gastric Emptying, and Intragastric Distribution In Healthy Humans—Impact on Glycemia

  • Deirdre O’Donovan
  • Trygve Hausken
  • Yong Lei
  • Antonietta Russo
  • Jennifer Keogh
  • Michael Horowitz
  • Karen L JonesEmail author


The aims of this study were to evaluate (i) the relationship between transpyloric flow (TF) assessed by Doppler ultrasonography and scintigraphy, (ii) the effects of healthy aging on TF and gastric emptying (GE), and (iii) the relationship between the glycemic response to oral glucose and TF. Ten healthy “young” (7 M, 3 F) and 8 “older” (4 M, 4 F), subjects had simultaneous measurements of TF, GE, and blood glucose after a 600-ml drink (75 g glucose labeled with 20 MBq 99mTc-sulfur colloid) while seated. TF measured by ultrasound was measured during drink ingestion and for 30 min thereafter. GE was measured scintigraphically for 180 min after drink ingestion. Blood glucose was measured before the drink and at regular intervals until 180 min. During drink ingestion, TF was greater (P < 0.05) and GE faster (retention at 60 min: 70.8 ± 3.3 vs. 83.8 ± 4.6%; P < 0.05) in young compared to older subjects. There was no difference in fasting blood glucose between the two groups but the magnitude of the rise in blood glucose was greater in the young compared to the older subjects; (at 15 min 2.4 ± 0.3 vs. 1.5 ± 0.5 mmol/L; P < 0.05). In contrast, after 90 min blood glucose concentrations were higher in the older subjects. There were significant relationships between the early blood glucose concentration and both TF (e.g., at 15 min: r = 0.56, P < 0.05) and GE (e.g., at 15 min: r = −0.51, P < 0.05). In conclusion, the results of this study indicate that (i) TF is initially less, and GE slower, in older compared to young subjects; (ii) the initial glycemic response to oral glucose is related to TF; and (iii) measurements of TF by ultrasound and scintigraphy correlate significantly.


gastric emptying transpyloric flow elderly blood glucose 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deirdre O’Donovan
    • 1
  • Trygve Hausken
    • 2
  • Yong Lei
    • 1
  • Antonietta Russo
    • 1
  • Jennifer Keogh
    • 1
  • Michael Horowitz
    • 1
  • Karen L Jones
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Departments of Medicine, Royal Adelaide HospitalUniversity of AdelaideAdelaide
  2. 2.Division of Gastroenterology, Medical DepartmentHaukeland University HospitalBergenNorway
  3. 3.Department Medicine, Royal Adelaide Hospital, North TerraceUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

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