Gastric emptying in patients with chronic liver diseases
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There have been a number of reports of gastric emptying in cirrhosis, all with unconfirmed results. Moreover, the mechanism for delayed emptying in cirrhotic patients is unclear. We evaluated gastric emptying in patients with chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis by means of gastric emptying scintigraphy.Methods: The subjects were 18 normal controls and 75 patients with chronic viral hepatitis (50 patients had chronic hepatitis and 25 patients had cirrhosis). Tc-99m diethyltriamine pentaacetic acid labeled solid meals were used to evaluate gastric emptying; the half-time (T 1/2) of which was calculated. Digestive symptom scores were determined at the time of gastric emptying tests.Results: Fourteen (28%) of 50 patients with chronic hepatitis and 16 (64%) of 25 patients with cirrhosis had delayed gastric emptying. T 1/2 in patients with cirrhosis was significantly higher than that in normal controls and patients with chronic hepatitis (p=0.0001 and 0.0003, respectively). The difference between T 1/2 in patients with chronic hepatitis and that in normal controls was not significant. On regression analysis, two indices—the serum albumin level and platelet count—were found to be significantly related to delayed gastric emptying.Conclusions: Gastric emptying was more delayed in cirrhotic patients than in those with chronic hepatitis and normal controls. Delayed gastric emptying may be related to liver function and portal hypertension.
Key wordsgastric emptying liver cirrhosis chronic hepatitis Tc-99m DTPA
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