Excess gastric acid secretion and gastrin production may occur in patients with the short bowel syndrome but the two measurements have never been made simultaneously in man in response to a food stimulus. Using the technique of intragastric titration, this was carried out in eight patients after extensive small bowel resection resulting mainly from vascular occlusion and in eight matched normal control subjects. Basal acid output and peak acid output in response to pentagastrin was also measured separately. Although peak and integrated serum gastrin concentrations were significantly greater in patients (450 +/- SE 109 pg/ml; 113 +/- 2.9X10(-3) pg/ml/min) compared with control subjects (174 +/- 98 pg/ml; 6.1 +/- 2.0X10(-3) pg/ml/min p less than 0.05), no concomitant increase in acid secretion was shown either during intragastric titration or in response to pentagastrin. These findings indicate that there is no rationale for treating these patients with long term anti-ulcer therapy.
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