Impaired accommodation of proximal stomach in patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis

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Background: Impaired gastric emptying has previously been detected by ultrasonography in cirrhotic patients, and the role of the type of meal has also been discussed. While these earlier studies dealt with the distal part of the stomach, the aim of our study was to examine the effects of three different types of meal on the proximal stomach in cirrhotic patients. Methods: The proximal stomach was examined by ultrasonography in 15 healthy volunteers and in 21 alcoholic cirrhotic patients. The subjects received a liquid meal with a low calorie content and two different semisolid test meals with a low calorie content or high calorie and fat contents. The proximal gastric size was assessed by ultrasonography in a sagittal area and a frontal diameter. On the basis of assessment of the autonomic nervous function, the cirrhotic patients were divided into two groups: autonomic neuropathy positive and autonomic neuropathy negative. Results: The postcibal gastric size immediately after ingestion of the liquid test meal was significantly lower in the cirrhotic patients than in the healthy controls. In the healthy volunteers, the measures of the proximal gastric size were significantly higher than in either group of cirrhotic patients at t0, and at 10, 20 or 30 min after ingestion of a semisolid test meal with low calorie and fat contents. The proximal gastric sizes in the three groups of investigated subjects did not differ when the meal with high fat and calorie contents was tested. When the liquid meal was administered, the proximal gastric size was significantly lower in the cirrhotic patients with autonomic neuropathy. A significant intragroup difference was not observed when the semisolid meals were tested. Conclusions: This study reveals an impairment of the proximal stomach in alcoholic cirrhotic patients. The low calorie liquid meal distinguishes between the two groups of cirrhotic patients and healthy controls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1403-1410
Number of pages8
JournalScandinavian journal of gastroenterology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2002



  • Alcoholic cirrhosis
  • Autonomic neuropathy
  • Proximal stomach
  • Ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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