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Gastroenterology. 2005 Mar;128(3):574-9.

Origin of gas retention and symptoms in patients with bloating.

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  • 1Digestive System Research Unit, Hospital General Vall d'Hebron, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Abstract

BACKGROUND & AIMS:

Patients reporting abdominal bloating exhibit impaired tolerance to intestinal gas loads. The aim of this study was to identify the gut compartment responsible for gas retention.

METHODS:

In 30 patients predominantly reporting abdominal bloating (24 with irritable bowel syndrome and 6 with functional bloating) and 22 healthy subjects, gas (nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and oxygen) was infused into the intestine for 2 hours while measuring rectal gas outflow. First, in 12 patients and 10 healthy subjects, gas transit (24 mL/min jejunal infusion labeled with 74 MBq bolus of 133 Xe) was measured by scintigraphy. Second, in groups of patients and healthy subjects, the effects of gas infusion (12 mL/min) in the jejunum versus ileum, jejunum versus cecum, and jejunum versus sham infusion (n=6 each) were compared by paired tests.

RESULTS:

In patients, total gut transit of gas was delayed (50% clearance time, 33 +/- 4 min vs 23 +/- 4 min in healthy subjects; P <.05) owing to impaired small bowel transit (50% clearance time, 20 +/- 2 min vs 12 +/- 3 min in healthy subjects; P <.05), whereas colonic transit was normal (50% clearance time, 13 +/- 2 min vs 11 +/- 2 min in healthy subjects; not significant). Furthermore, jejunal gas infusion in patients was associated with gas retention (329 +/- 81 mL vs 88 +/- 79 mL in healthy subjects; P <.05), whereas direct ileal or colonic infusion was not (61 +/- 103 mL and -143 +/- 87 mL retention, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS:

In patients reporting bloating, the small bowel is the gut region responsible for ineffective gas propulsion.

PMID:
15765392
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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