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Acid instillation into the duodenum inhibits basal and stimulated gastric secretion. In man vagotomy suppresses this secretory inhibition. It is postulated that such inhibition responds to a dual mechanism: an hormonal one (enterogastrone) and a nervous one (vagus nerve). This study showed that preoperative duodenal acidification of duodenal ulcer patients results in a decrease in basal gastric secretion and in gastrin levels. On the contrary, in patients submitted to vagal denervation—either through truncal division or highly selective vagotomy—duodenal acidification does not inhibit gastric secretion; however, a drop occurs in basal gastrin levels. An intact gastric vagal innervation therefore, seems necessary for the preservation of the sensitivity of the parietal cell to the effect of hormonal inhibitors, it being immaterial whether duodenal innervation is present or not, as that duodenal acidification provokes a significant fall in serum gastrin levels as determined by radioimmunoassay. This hormonal decrease produced by duodenal acidification can be explained by the inhibition of gastrin release from the antrum. Agreement is expressed with the opinion of other authors that highly selective vagotomy does not appear to carry any advantage over truncal section of the vagus nerves from the standpoint of the inhibitory mechanism of gastric secretion from the duodenum.
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Accepted: May 14, 1976
© 1977 Published by Elsevier Inc.