A study of the reproducibility and reliability of the Schilling test in patients with primary malabsorptive disease and after partial gastrectomy is reported. The value of the test was assessed by repeated tests in each patient. Consistently normal or abnormal results were obtained in only one of the seven patients with primary malabsorptive disease and in only two of the eight patients who had undergone partial gastrectomy. From these results it is concluded that the result of a single test may be of little clinical value. Assessment of the results suggests that the mean value for a series of Schilling tests may give some indication of value clinically about the capacity to absorb radioactive vitamin B12 at the time of the tests at least in patients who have undergone partial gastrectomy. The significance of the findings is discussed, particularly in relation to the aetiology of post-gastrectomy megaloblastic anaemia.
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