Duodenogastric reflux causes growth stimulation of foregut mucosa potentiated by gastric acid blockade

Gerold J. Wetscher, Ronald A. Hinder, David Kretchmar, Ronald Stinson, Galen Perdikis, Tom Smyrk, Paul J. Klingler, Thomas E. Adrian

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30 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated whether duodenogastric reflux (DGR) together with gastroesophageal reflux causes growth stimulation of the foregut mucosa and if additional gastric acid suppression enhances the effect of DGR. DGR was induced in rats using a split gastroenterostomy. A cardiomyotomy was performed across the gastroeophageal junction in order to enhance reflux into the esophagus. DGR rats were divided into six subgroups: DGR, DGR + truncal vagotomy, DGR + omeprazole, DGR + gastrin receptor blockade, DGR + omeprazole + gastrin receptor blockade, and DGR + gastrin. Two sham groups, one with and one without omeprazole treatment, served as controls. DGR significantly increased the weight and DNA content of the esophageal and gastric mucosa, which was further enhanced by vagotomy or omeprazole. Histology revealed foveolar hyperplasia in the stomach and esophageal mucosal hyperplasia in these groups. In addition, severe esophagitis was found in the DGR group receiving omeprazole. Omeprazole without DGR had no growth-stimulating effect on the foregut mucosa. DGR-induced growth stimulation was accompanied by hypergastrinemia. Increased growth in the stomach but not the esophagus was inhibited by gastrin receptor blockade. Gastrin administration did not result in enhancement of DGR-induced growth stimulation of the foregut mucosa. It is concluded that DGR, often present in severe reflux esophagitis, causes mucosal growth of the foregut of rats. This trophic response may explain why severe reflux esophagitis is associated with an increased risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma. DGR-induced growth stimulation of the foregut is potentiated by gastric acid suppression, suggesting that chronic antisecretory medication in gastroesophageal reflux may not always be advisable. Omeprazole + DGR caused severe esophageal damage, which may explain why antisecretory medication may fail to heal severe reflux esophagitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2166-2173
Number of pages8
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Complications
  • Duodenogastric reflux
  • Growth stimulation
  • Reflux esophagitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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