The effect of vagotomy on gallbladder function was investigated in a clinical and experimental study. In the clinical study both the size of the gallbladder and its capacity to respond to cholecystokinin were evaluated radiologically before and after vagotomy. In studies in the rabbit, both the immediate effect of vagotomy on the gallbladder and the effect of varying doses of cholecystokinin on gallbladder pressure were studied before and after vagotomy. In studies in the cat the long-term effect of vagotomy was studied with respect to the histology of the gallbladder and the composition of bile.
The clinical investigation showed that vagotomy was followed by a significant increase in the volume of the gallbladder and that the effect of the cholecystokinin on the gallbladder remained unchanged after vagotomy. In experiments in the rabbit it was found that cholecystokinin in a dose of 1 unit/kg body weight exerted a somewhat lesser effect on gallbladder pressure after vagotomy than before, while after vagotomy a dose, approximately four times greater, resulted in a stronger gallbladder response. Further, the experiments showed that the chemical composition of the bile seemed to be altered after vagotomy, while the gallbladder remained histologically essentially unchanged.
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