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Keywords:

  • gastric accommodation;
  • sumatriptan;
  • transpyloric flow;
  • ultrasonography

Sumatriptan, a 5HT1 receptor agonist, inhibits antral motor activity, delays gastric emptying and relaxes the gastric fundus. The aim of this study was to characterize the effect of sumatriptan on transpyloric flow and gastric accommodation during and immediately after ingestion of a liquid meal using duplex sonography. Ten healthy subjects were investigated twice on separate days. In random order either sumatriptan 6 mg (Imigran® 0.5 mL) or a placebo were given s.c. 15 min before ingesting 500 mL of a meat soup. The subjects were examined during the 3-min period before ingestion of the liquid meal, the 3-min spent drinking the meal and 10 min postprandially. Sumatriptan caused a significant widening of both the gastric antrum (P=0.02) and the proximal stomach (P=0.01) 10 min postprandially as compared with placebo. It caused no significant differences in time to initial gastric emptying (P=0.2), but significantly delayed commencement of peristaltic-related transpyloric flow (P=0.04). Sumatriptan had no significant effect on mean abdominal symptom scores, but after sumatriptan there was a significant negative correlation between width of postprandial antral area and postprandial nausea and between width of postprandial antral area and postprandial bloating. We therefore conclude that sumatriptan causes a postprandial dilatation of both the distal and the proximal stomach with no change in dyspeptic symptoms nor in length of time to first gastric emptying. Time to commencement of peristaltic-related emptying is delayed.