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Background: Somatostatin exerts inhibitory effects on physiological functions in the gastrointestinal tract. The actions differ, however, depending on the test meal, dose, and other factors.

Aims: To determine by use of ultrasonography and scintigraphy the effect of a somatostatin analog, octreotide, on gastric emptying and antral contraction.

Subjects: Twenty healthy men; mean age 23.9 years

Methods: Subjects were studied for 7 days, once after subcutaneous injection of octreotide, 50 μg, 5 min before the ingestion of a test meal and once after subcutaneous injection of placebo. Ten subjects received a liquid meal, 10 others received a solid meal. With the liquid meal, gastric emptying was measured 15 min after its ingestion and antral contraction was measured for 15 min by ultrasonography. With the solid meal, gastric emptying was measured both by ultrasonography (n=10) and by simultaneous scintigraphy (n=6), with antral contraction measured by ultrasonography for 5 h after ingestion of the meal.

Results and Conclusions: Octreotide given with a liquid or solid meal inhibited gastric emptying in healthy subjects. A significant suppression of antral contraction occurred only with a solid meal.