Cisapride is a newly developed substance that stimulates gastrointestinal motility, possibly enhancing acetylcholine release in the gut wall. The aim of our study was to investigate the effect of cisapride on oesophageal motor function in man. In a blind fashion and in random order six healthy volunteers received cisapride (0.5 mg/h intravenously, preceded by a three day oral loading at 10 mg tid) and matching placebo. Oesophageal contractions and lower oesophageal sphincter pressure were constantly recorded during a complete cycle of the interdigestive migrating motor complex and during two and half hours after a mixed test meal. Cisapride did not disturb the interdigestive migrating motor complex. In the fasting state the lower oesophageal sphincter pressure showed considerable interdigestive migrating motor complex phase-related variations, whereas amplitude and duration of the oesophageal contractions did not. In the dosis used cisapride was found to increase lower oesophageal sphincter pressure in the interdigestive and in the late postprandial state, but to have no effect in the early postprandial period. Amplitude and duration of oesophageal contractions were not affected by cisapride.
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