The effect of distension of the fundus and body of the stomach on gastric acid secretion was studied in 26 patients with duodenal ulcer and six healthy subjects. Graded distension produced by inflating a rubber balloon to volumes of 150, 300, and 600 ml resulted in significant sequential increments of acid output. The secretory response outlasted stimulation by at least one hour. In both groups of subjects, the highest acid output obtainable with fundic distension amounted to just above 50% of the maximum secretory response evoked by intravenous infusion of pentagastrin. A significant correlation was found between the peak secretory rates observed during fundic distension and after pentagastrin stimulation. It is concluded that distension of the oxyntic gland area in man is a potent stimulus for gastric secretion of acid and that patients with duodenal ulcer are no more sensitive to this stimulus than healthy subjects.
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