Two groups A and B each comprising 12 healthy young male subjects were used in a double blind, placebo controlled trial to assess the effects of 1.0 g sucralfate qid on prostaglandin (PG) generation and mucosal integrity in the intact and aspirin-treated stomach. Mucosal formation and luminal release of PGE2, 6-keto-PGE1 alpha and thromboxane B2, gastric microbleeding and DNA loss (integrity indicators) and basal and pentagastrin induced acid secretion were measured after placebo and sucralfate treatment in subjects without (group A) and with administration of 2.5 g aspirin (group B). Sucralfate significantly reduced spontaneous gastric microbleeding and DNA loss in group A and prevented blood loss but not DNA loss caused by aspirin in group B. The protective effects of sucralfate on spontaneous gastric microbleeding were accompanied by increased mucosal biosynthesis and luminal release of PGE2 and 6-keto-PGF1 alpha with a reduction in release of thromboxane B2. In aspirin treated subjects both mucosal generation and luminal release of prostaglandins and thromboxane B2 were greatly suppressed although sucralfate treatment did not influence these prostaglandins in spite of the reduction in mucosal damage. It is concluded that sucralfate has a potent protective action on spontaneous and aspirin treated gastric microbleeding in man and that this protection may be partly because of the increased mucosal biosynthesis of prostaglandins.
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