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Keywords:

  • gallbladder motility;
  • gastric emptying;
  • non-ulcer dyspepsia

Abstract

Background:  Disorders of the motor function of the upper gastrointestinal tract have been implicated in the pathogenesis of non-ulcer dyspepsia. Approximately 50% of patients with abdominal symptoms (without ulcer) have normal gastric emptying. Apart from gastric emptying, other mechanisms are very important in the etiology of non-ulcer dyspepsia.

Methods:  Gastric emptying and gallbladder motility were simultaneously investigated in 16 patients with non-ulcer dyspepsia and in 15 healthy controls. Fasting blood samples were taken, and pepsinogen levels were assayed.

Results:  Gastric emptying time, fasting antral diameter, and post-prandial antral diameter were not significantly different between the patients with non-ulcer dyspepsia and the controls. Fasting gallbladder volume, the time required to reach minimal gallbladder residual volume, minimal gallbladder residual volume, and the serum levels of pepsinogen were not significantly different. Simple linear regression was used to summarize the relationship between gastric emptying time and time required to reach minimal gallbladder residual volume. In the controls, the gastric emptying time and time required to reach minimal gallbladder residual volume were linearly related. However, in the patients with non-ulcer dyspepsia, they were not related.

Conclusions:  These observations suggest that disturbance of coordination between gastric emptying and gallbladder emptying is a cause of the symptoms of non-ulcer dyspepsia.