Research Article| Volume 117, ISSUE 4, P421-428, April 1995

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Pathologic duodenogastric reflux associated with persistence of symptoms after cholecystectomy

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      Background. The aim of this study was to determine whether increased duodenograstric reflux contributes to postcholecystectomy symptoms.
      Methods. Gastric pH monitoring, hepatobiliary scintigraphy, gastric emptying scans, and gastric acid analysis were performed in asymptomatic (n=10) and in symptomatic (n=27) patients after cholecystectomy. Normal subjects (n=20), patients with dyspepsia related to gastric acid hypersecretion (n=20), patients with reflux gastritis after gastric surgery (n=10), and patients with confirmed primary pathologic duodenogastric reflux (n=10) were studied as controls. Symptomatic patients also underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy.
      Results. Symptomatic patients had significantly increased interprandial gastric exposure to pH<3 compared with asymptomatic subjects, which correlated well with a high incidence of hepatobiliary scans positive for abnormal duodenogastric reflux and chronic gastritis on endoscopy. Gastric alkaline exposure in symptomatic patients was similar to that seen in patients with primary pathologic duodenogastric reflux and patients with duodenogastric reflux related to gastric surgery. Gastric acid secretion and gastric emptying were not altered. Five patients tested before and after laparoscopic cholecystomy showed that nocturnal gastric alkalization was enhanced after operation.
      Conclusions. This study suggests that excessive duodenogastric reflux may be responsible for persistence of symptoms after cholecystectomy.
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