We have devised a technique for simultaneously measuring the acid secretion into the stomach and alkali into the duodenum by in situ titration using a modification of the technique of Fordtran and Walsh. Using this technique, the results of acid and alkali secretion measured simultaneously were identical with those obtained using the conventional aspiration method on separate days. In response to stimulation with pentagastrin acid output was 17.2 +/- 1.4 vs 15.4 +/- 1.9 mmol/h and alkali response with secretin was 16.0 +/- 0.8 vs 14.4 +/- 1.5 mmol/h. The response to food was measured in 10 control subjects, 10 patients with duodenal ulcer, and 10 patients with pancreatitis. In controls, the acid and alkaline secretion were similar (15.8 +/- 1.7 vs 18.2 +/- 1.3 mmol/h), in patients with duodenal ulcer acid secretion was significantly greater than alkaline secretion (31.9 +/- 2.2 vs 21.9 +/- 1.7 mmol/h), and in patients with pancreatitis the alkali secretion was significantly less than acid (19.8 +/- 1.9 mmol/h acid vs 11.4 +/- 0.6 mmol/h alkali). It can, therefore, be concluded that in response to food the patients with duodenal ulcer are significant hypersecretors of acid (DU acid greater than DU alkali output) and patients with pancreatitis are significant hyposecretors of alkali (pancreatitis-alkaline output less than acid output) and normal subjects secrete equal amounts of acid and alkali.
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