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Dig Dis Sci. 2005 Apr;50(4):671-6.

Effect of aging on transpyloric flow, gastric emptying, and intragastric distribution in healthy humans--impact on glycemia.

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Departments of Medicine, University of Adelaide, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia.


The aims of this study were to evaluate (i) the relationship between transpyloric flow (TF) assessed by Doppler ultrasonography and scintigraphy, (ii) the effects of healthy aging on TF and gastric emptying (GE), and (iii) the relationship between the glycemic response to oral glucose and TF. Ten healthy "young" (7 M, 3 F) and 8 "older" (4 M, 4 F), subjects had simultaneous measurements of TF, GE, and blood glucose after a 600-ml drink (75 g glucose labeled with 20 MBq 99mTc-sulfur colloid) while seated. TF measured by ultrasound was measured during drink ingestion and for 30 min thereafter. GE was measured scintigraphically for 180 min after drink ingestion. Blood glucose was measured before the drink and at regular intervals until 180 min. During drink ingestion, TF was greater (P < 0.05) and GE faster (retention at 60 min: 70.8+/-3.3 vs. 83.8+/-4.6%; P < 0.05) in young compared to older subjects. There was no difference in fasting blood glucose between the two groups but the magnitude of the rise in blood glucose was greater in the young compared to the older subjects; (at 15 min 2.4+/-0.3 vs. 1.5+/-0.5 mmol/L; P < 0.05). In contrast, after 90 min blood glucose concentrations were higher in the older subjects. There were significant relationships between the early blood glucose concentration and both TF (e.g., at 15 min: r = 0.56, P < 0.05) and GE (e.g., at 15 min: r = -0.51, P < 0.05). In conclusion, the results of this study indicate that (i) TF is initially less, and GE slower, in older compared to young subjects; (ii) the initial glycemic response to oral glucose is related to TF; and (iii) measurements of TF by ultrasound and scintigraphy correlate significantly.

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