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We simultaneously assessed gastric emptying and gallbladder contraction after oral administration of a liquid meal by noninvasive ultrasonography in 17 patients with chronic pancreatitis (CP) and in 17 healthy controls. Gastrointestinal (GI) transit was also assessed by a noninvasive radioopaque marker method. Exocrine pancreatic function was evaluated by analyzing pure pancreatic juice and by analyzing the autonomic nervous system by cardiovascular reflex tests. Patients with CP showed impaired gallbladder contraction at 15 min and hastened gastric emptying. The cause of the former is unclear, whereas the latter was closely related with decreased pancreatic lipase output, but not with autonomic dysfunction. GI transit time did not differ between controls and patients with CP. In conclusion, we succeeded in clearly demonstrating impaired gallbladder contraction and hastened gastric emptying in patients with CP by a single noninvasive test, ultrasonography. We also revealed for the first time that hastened gastric emptying is associated with insufficient pancreatic lipase output.
Acta Medica Okayama
Okayama University Medical School
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