The effect of acute auditory stress on gastric motor responses to a meal in healthy volunteers

Authors


  • Competing interests: The authors have no competing interests.

Abstract

Background and Aim

Stress is believed to play a role in the pathogenesis of functional gastrointestinal disorders. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of acute auditory stress on gastric motor responses to a meal in healthy subjects.

Methods

A total of eight healthy volunteers (seven men and one woman; median age, 33.4 years [30–35 years]) who had no recurrent gastrointestinal symptoms participated in the prospective, randomized, crossover study. Gastric half-emptying time and meal-induced proximal gastric accommodation were measured using gastric scintigraphy under the auditory stress and control conditions in a randomized crossover design.

Results

The gastric half-emptying time under the stress condition was significantly longer than that under the control condition (130.8 ± 16.6 vs 105.0 ± 13.1 min; P = 0.005 by paired t-test). Under the stress and control conditions, the proximal gastric volume significantly increased after a meal (P < 0.001 by repeated measures analysis of variance). The degree of the postprandial increase in proximal gastric volume did not significantly differ between both conditions (P = 0.598 by tests of between-subjects effects using repeated measures analysis of variance). The severity scores of postprandial epigastric discomfort and fullness were significantly higher under the stress condition than under the control condition (P = 0.001 and P = 0.039, respectively, by paired t-test).

Conclusions

Acute auditory stress delays gastric emptying and increases the severity of postprandial symptoms in the healthy subjects, suggesting the relevance of psychological stress to the pathophysiological mechanism of functional dyspepsia.

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