It has been proposed that duodenogastric reflux may be the basic underlying mechanism which gives rise to symptoms of flatulent dyspepsia. Fasting and postprandial gastric juice bile acid concentrations were measured in patients with flatulent dyspepsia with and without gall bladder disease and postcholecystectomy. There were 13 patients with gall bladder disease, 12 with normal gall bladders and 13 postcholecystectomy. Gastric juice was obtained by intubation. Bile acid concentrations were compared with 21 controls and 15 asymptomatic subjects with gall bladder disease. For 21 patients with gall bladder disease who underwent cholecystectomy, levels were again assessed postoperatively to allow correlation with outcome. The occurrence of reflux and the resultant gastric juice bile acids did not correlate with symptoms. Concentrations postcholecystectomy, including asymptomatic subjects were significantly higher than controls (p less than 0.01). It is concluded that limited duodenogastric reflux is common and need not be associated with symptoms even when the resultant intra-gastric concentrations are higher than normal.
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