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Effects of Glutamine on Gastrointestinal Motor Activity in Patients following Gastric Surgery

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Postoperative ileus (POI) is one of the most common complications of gastrointestinal surgery. The present study was performed to evaluate the effects of glutamine administration on POI after gastric surgery in humans.

Subjects and methods

The subjects were 31 patients who underwent partial distal gastrectomy for gastric cancer and who were randomly assigned to one of two groups based on postoperative treatment: the glutamine group (3 g/day) and the control group. Manometric recording was done 12 days after surgery, and plasma glutamine concentrations were measured preoperatively and on postoperative day 12.


Motor activities of the duodenum in the glutamine group were significantly greater than those of the control group in the interdigestive state. The incidence of phase III motor activity (interdigestive migrating motor contractions) in the glutamine group was significantly higher than that in the control group (60 versus 19%). The glutamine group showed a significantly smaller decrease of plasma glutamine levels compared with the control group.


Glutamine could act as a motility-recovery agent after gastrectomy in humans.

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Correspondence to Erito Mochiki.

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Mochiki, E., Ohno, T., Yanai, M. et al. Effects of Glutamine on Gastrointestinal Motor Activity in Patients following Gastric Surgery. World J Surg 35, 805–810 (2011).

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