Basal serum gastrin, integrated gastrin response to a meal, and integrated gastrin response to insulin induced hypoglycaemia were measured in 60 patients with duodenal ulcer before and after elective highly selective vagotomy to determine whether antral gastrin has a role in resistance to H2 receptor antagonist treatment which the patients had received before surgery or in the development of recurrent ulceration after vagotomy. The basal gastrin, integrated gastrin response to a meal, and the integrated gastrin response to insulin were similar in patients whose ulcers healed after H2 receptor agonist treatment or were refractory to at least three months of this treatment. The same parameters measured before or after highly selective vagotomy were similar in patients who eventually developed recurrent ulceration compared with those who did not. As expected the basal and meal stimulated (but not insulin stimulated) serum gastrin values increased after highly selective vagotomy. Ulcer patients with particularly high gastrin values (whether basal or stimulated) were not more resistant to H2 receptor antagonist treatment or prone to develop ulcer recurrence after highly selective vagotomy. This study suggests that antral gastrin is not important in 'resistance' of duodenal ulceration either to H2 receptor antagonist treatment or to highly selective vagotomy.
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