Fasting and postprandial plasma levels of the gut hormones gastrin, cholecystokinin (CCK), secretin, glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide, motilin, neurotensin, peptide YY (PYY), enteroglucagon, glucagon, insulin, and pancreatic polypeptide were measured in 11 patients with alkaline gastritis associated with excessive duodenogastric reflux not related to previous gastric surgery (primary DGR), 12 primary DGR patients after pancreatico-biliary diversion ("duodenal switch" procedure), and in 10 age-matched healthy controls. Gastric emptying of a semisolid oatmeal was also measured in patients with primary DGR and in patients after bile diversion. Fasting plasma levels of the distal gut hormone neurotensin and the pancreatic islet hormone insulin were significantly greater in patients with primary DGR compared with controls. Neurotensin levels were normal in patients studied after bile diversion. Postprandial plasma levels, incremental integrated and total integrated responses for CCK, secretin, insulin, neurotensin, PYY, and enteroglucagon, were significantly greater in patients with primary DGR compared with controls. The majority of these responses normalized after bile diversion; however, the postprandial response for insulin and enteroglucagon remained elevated. Patients with primary DGR had a rapid early post-prandial phase of gastric emptying of solids, which showed a significant correlation with plasma neurotensin levels. Bile diversion produced a significant delay in this lag-phase of gastric emptying. These abnormalities in gut regulatory hormones appear to be adaptive changes to rapid early postprandial gastric emptying, probably related to antropyloric dysmotility, which has been implicated in the pathogenesis of this condition. Measurement of these gastrointestinal hormones may become useful in the diagnosis of primary DGR.
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