Author(s): Walther B, Clementsson C, Vallgren S, Ihse I, Akesson B
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Abstract The feasibility of using the triolein breath test to demonstrate fat malabsorption was evaluated in a prospective study of patients before and after total gastrectomy and Roux-en-Y reconstruction. Two of 11 patients had subnormal fat absorption before the operation, but 1 and 6 months after the operation 9 of 11 patients had subnormal fat absorption. Peak expiratory 14CO2 (median (range] at the three investigations was 3.9\%/h (2.1-5.9\%/h), 2.1\%/h (1.4-4.5\%/h), and 2.0\%/h (1.2-6.0\%/h), respectively. Patients who underwent a Nissen fundoplication were used as controls. They had normal fat absorption both before and after operation. Serum amylase was not appreciably affected by total gastrectomy and was similar to control values. In contrast, serum albumin decreased 1 month after gastrectomy and recovered after 6 months. In control patients pre- and post-operative albumin concentrations did not differ and were comparable to preoperative albumin values in the total gastrectomy group. The lowered fat absorption may be explained by duodenal bypass with decreased pancreatic stimulation, and it may in part explain the weight loss in patients operated on with total gastrectomy.
This article was published in Scand J Gastroenterol
and referenced in Journal of Gastrointestinal & Digestive System