In the stagnant loop syndrome an abnormal anaerobic flora colonizes the small bowel. Anaerobic organisms are characterized by fermentation reactions leading to the production of volatile fatty acids. This paper describes the measurement of intrajejunal volatile fatty acid concentrations in 11 patients with the stagnant loop syndrome. Nine normal persons and 18 patients with gastrointestinal disease without intestinal stasis acted as controls. Acetate and propionate concentrations were greatly increased in the patients with the stagnant loop syndrome and returned to normal in those patients treated with antibiotics. The measurement of intrajejunal volatile fatty acid concentrations as an index of overgrowth of anaerobic organisms is discussed.
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