Prolonged (18-24 hours) recordings of the pattern of small intestinal motor activity have been made, using radiotelemetry, in seven patients before surgery for chronic duodenal ulcer, seven after truncal vagotomy, and four with persistent post-vagotomy diarrhoea. There was no difference in the pattern of fasting cyclical activity between the three groups but the duration of feeding activity after a standard meal was reduced in asymptomatic truncal vagotomy patients compared with duodenal ulcer controls (p less than 0 . 05). In patients with post-vagotomy diarrhoea, the duration of the feeding pattern was further reduced compared with the asymptomatic post-vagotomy patients (p less than 0 . 001). It is suggested that altered emptying of food from the stomach in these patients together with duodenal receptor insensitivity is the probable explanation of these changes.
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