Gastric emptying of isotopically labelled solid meals was studied in normal human subjects and in patients at different intervals after truncal vagotomy and Heineke-Mikulicz pyloroplasty.
One to four weeks after vagotomy and pyloroplasty gastric emptying was delayed grossly in some patients regardless of the completeness of vagotomy. Patients with gross delay had symptoms of gastric retention. Eight weeks later emptying had returned towards normal and one or more years after vagotomy and pyloroplasty emptying was within the normal range.
A subthreshold dose of carbachol injected during the course of emptying of a meal in some of the postvagotomy patients had no detectable influence on the rate of emptying of the meal.
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