In a double blind placebo controlled study the effect of calcitonin on gastric emptying and on serum concentrations of gastrin, insulin, glucose, calcium and phosphorus after a mixed solid-liquid meal was examined in eight patients with duodenal ulcer. Synthetic salmon calcitonin 415 pmol iv was given as a bolus followed by a 90 minute infusion to reach an overall dose of 62.25 pmol/kg. Gastric emptying of a radiolabelled meal was measured with a gamma camera. Calcitonin markedly delayed gastric emptying in all patients examined. The emptying index (Ix) decreased from 2.979 (0.397)/min after placebo to 0.896 (0.317)/min after calcitonin (p less than 0.001). Calcitonin did not affect significantly postprandial gastrin release: AUC0-90, 8768 (880) pg/l min (placebo) and 7807 (619) pg/l min (calcitonin). Postprandial insulin release was abolished by calcitonin -Auc0-90, 2258 (242) mU/l min (placebo) v 736 (131) mU/l min (calcitonin), p less than 0.001. Parallel to the suppression of insulin release was a steady increase in the serum glucose during calcitonin infusion, with the highest glucose concentration of 5.8 (0.53) mmol/l at the end of infusion of the hormone. Calcitonin did not change significantly serum calcium or phosphorus concentrations. A combination of a delaying effect on gastric emptying with the inhibition of gastric acid secretion elicited by calcitonin warrants further studies of calcinonin in the treatment of duodenal ulcer.
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