Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 56, Issue 11, pp 3172–3178 | Cite as

Gastric Emptying and Intestinal Transit of Various Enteral Feedings Following Severe Burn Injury

  • Hanaa S. Sallam
  • George C. Kramer
  • Jiande D. Z. Chen
Original Article



Burn-induced delayed gastric emptying and intestinal transit limits enteral feeding/resuscitation.


To study (1) the effects of burn injury on gastric emptying and intestinal transit at different time points following enteral feeding/fluids, and (2) the effects of enteral resuscitative fluids on gastric emptying, intestinal transit, and plasma volume expansion.


Rats were randomized into sham-burn and burn groups. They were either enterally untreated or treated by a gavage of one or multiple doses of oral rehydration solution (ORS) or, Vivonex®, all mixed with phenol red as a marker, at different time points from 1 to 6 h after burn. Gastric emptying, intestinal transit and hematocrit values were assessed. Gastric emptying of a semi-solid methylcellulose meal served as a standard control for gastric emptying studies.


We found that (1) burn did not alter the gastric emptying of ORS, but delayed its intestinal transit at all time points; (2) burn delayed the gastric emptying of both methylcellulose or Vivonex and the intestinal transit of Vivonex, 6 h after burn; and (3) multiple doses of ORS normalized the elevated post-burn hematocrit values. The percentage of plasma volume expansion at 6 h resulting from the multiple-dose ORS was superior to that of Vivonex by 50%. Addition of Erythromycin to Vivonex improved its gastric emptying, intestinal transit, and plasma volume expansion.


Burn delays the gastric emptying of semi-solids, but not the ORS. Enteral electrolyte solution (ORS) and feeding (Vivonex) provided plasma volume expansion. Prokinetic drugs may be able to maximize the effectiveness of early post-burn feeding.


Burn Enteral resuscitation Gastric emptying Intestinal transit ORS Vivonex 


Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hanaa S. Sallam
    • 1
  • George C. Kramer
    • 2
  • Jiande D. Z. Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine, Division of GastroenterologyUniversity of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Anesthesiology, Resuscitation Research LaboratoryUniversity of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA

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