Lysolecithin is formed when pancreatic juice and bile mix in the duodenum. Lysolecithin concentrations have been measured in intermittent samples of night gastric juice from patients with gastric ulcers and duodenal ulcers and in normal controls. In gastric ulcer patients, the mean of the peak concentrations (444 μg/ml) and mean of concentrations in all samples (199 μg/ml) were significantly higher than in controls (34 μg/ml and 18 μg/ml respectively). Duodenal ulcer patients had normal or moderately raised values. The levels in gastric ulcer patients were as high as those which have been found experimentally to cause severe damage to the gastric mucosal barrier, and it is concluded that lysolecithin may be as important, or more important, than bile salts in the destruction of the gastric mucosal barrier and therefore in the aetiology of gastric ulcer.
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