The serum immunoreactive gastrin (IRG) level in infants with confirmed idiopathic hypertrophic pyloric stenosis (IHPS) has been determined and compared to that found in vomiting infants without IHPS, in normal infants, and in normal adults. The mean serum IRG level of normal infants (103 +/- 9 pg/ml (mean +/- SEM) exceeded that of normal adults (28 +/- 5 pg/ml). The preoperative mean serum IRG level in IHPS infants (256 +/- 26 pg/ml) was significantly higher than that of both normal infants and vomiting infants without IHPS (93 +/- 9 pg/ml). Twenty-five per cent (5/20) of the IHPS infants had serum IRG levels within the upper range of normal infants. Fasting serum IRG levels in IHPS infants were not altered immediately by pyloromyotomy. The results from this study suggest a relationship between gastrin and idiopathic hypertrophic pyloric stenosis.
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