Author(s): Isobe H, Sakai H, Satoh M, Sakamoto S, Nawata H
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Abstract Using a scintigraphic technique, we investigated gastric emptying of a semisolid meal in 20 patients with liver cirrhosis and in 10 control subjects and correlated gastric emptying with gastrointestinal symptoms and with autonomic nervous function as determined by R-R interval variation on the electrocardiogram. All subjects lacked endoscopic abnormalities that might explain their gastrointestinal symptoms. None had alcoholic liver disease, diabetes, or other diseases known to affect gastric emptying. The half-time for gastric emptying was significantly prolonged in the cirrhotic patients (51.3 +/- 16.6 minutes) as compared with control subjects (29.9 +/- 8.4) (P < 0.01). There was a significant correlation between the gastrointestinal symptom score and the half-time for gastric emptying (r = 0.46, P < 0.05) in the cirrhotic patients. However, the decreases in R-R interval variation and gastric emptying were not significantly correlated. These observations indicate that delayed gastric emptying is frequently present in patients with liver cirrhosis and may produce their gastrointestinal symptoms.
This article was published in Dig Dis Sci
and referenced in Journal of Gastrointestinal & Digestive System