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Digestion. 1999;60(3):191-5.

Evidence for decreased salivary function in patients with reflux esophagitis.

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Department of Nuclear Medicine, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Chung-Shan Medical and Dental College, Taichung, Taiwan.


It has been speculated that impaired salivary flow contributes to abnormal acid clearance of the esophagus in gastroesophageal reflux and results in reflux esophagitis (RE). To test this hypothesis, salivary functions were measured by quantitative salivary scintigraphies in patients with RE and in age- and sex-matched controls for comparison. Nineteen patients with RE and 36 healthy volunteers were enrolled in the study. After an intravenous injection of 5 mCi Tc-99m pertechnetate, sequential images of 1 min/frame were acquired for 30 min. The 1- and 15-min uptake ratios (UR) of the tracer in the four major salivary glands over the backgrounds were calculated. Saliva excretion was stimulated by 1 tablet of 200 mg ascorbic acid given orally 15 min after injection of the tracer, then the maximal excretion ratios (ER) of the four major salivary glands were calculated for the sialagogue stimulation. RE patients had lower values of 1st and 15th min UR and maximal ER than controls in the 4 major salivary glands. Poor salivary functions which represented a decrease in both UR and ER for patients with RE have been confirmed by quantitative salivary scintigraphy in this study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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