Author(s): Madsen JL, Brinch K, Hansen EF, Fuglsang S
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Existing data on gastric emptying and small-intestinal transit rates in portal-hypertensive patients are scarce and contradictory, and so far, the motor function of the colon has not been assessed in these patients. In this study we evaluated the propulsive effect of all main segments of the gastrointestinal tract in patients with well-characterized portal hypertension. METHODS: Eight patients with a postsinusoidal hepatic pressure gradient of at least 13 mmHg and eight age- and sex-matched healthy controls participated in the study. Gastric emptying, small-intestinal transit, and colonic transit rates were evaluated in all subjects by means of a gamma camera technique. The technique was also used to measure the frequency of antral contractions. RESULTS: No difference was observed in gastric mean emptying time or small-intestinal mean transit time of liquid and solid markers between patients and controls. After 24 h, however, the geometric center of the liquid marker had a more caudal localization in the colon of the patient group than in the controls (P = 0.04); that is, the patients had a faster colonic transit. No difference was found in the frequency of antral contractions 45 min after the test meal between patients and controls. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that the colonic transit is often accelerated in patients with portal hypertension, whereas the motor function of the stomach and the small intestine is unaffected.
This article was published in Scand J Gastroenterol
and referenced in Journal of Gastrointestinal & Digestive System