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Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2007 May;19(5):401-7.

Influence of corticotropin-releasing hormone on gastric sensitivity and motor function in healthy volunteers.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



As stress may be involved in the generation of functional dyspeptic symptoms, we evaluated the effect of the stress hormone, corticotropin-releasing hormone, on proximal stomach function. Twelve healthy volunteers [six women; 23 years (20-26 years)] underwent a barostat study on 2 days. During the infusion of corticotropin-releasing hormone (2.3 microg/kg/h) or saline, a stepwise distension protocol was performed followed by ingestion of a liquid meal (Nutridrink, 200 ml, 300 kcal).


Corticotropin-releasing hormone infusion induced a significant increase in cortisol levels and basal volumes compared with placebo. The threshold for discomfort, meal-induced accommodation, dyspeptic symptoms, heart rate and blood pressure were all not significantly altered by corticotropin-releasing hormone infusion.


In healthy volunteers, peripheral infusion of corticotropin-releasing hormone reduces basal fundic tone, but has no effect on meal-induced accommodation or visceral sensitivity to gastric distension. Our findings suggest that in healthy volunteers, peripheral corticotropin-releasing hormone seems not to be involved in the onset of dyspeptic symptoms.

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