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Br J Anaesth. 2017 Nov 1;119(5):928-933. doi: 10.1093/bja/aex270.

Effect of gum chewing on gastric volume and emptying: a prospective randomized crossover study.

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Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Femme Mère Enfant Hospital, 59, Boulevard Pinel, 69500 Bron, France.
Univ Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Centre Léon Bérard, INSERM, LabTAU UMR1032, F-69003 Lyon, France.
University of Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, 43 Boulevard du 11 Novembre 1918, 69100 Villeurbanne, France.



Current fasting guidelines allow oral intake of water up to 2 h before induction of anaesthesia. We assessed whether gum chewing affects gastric emptying of 250 ml water and residual gastric fluid volume measured 2 h after ingestion of water.


This prospective randomized observer-blind crossover trial was performed on 20 healthy volunteers who attended two separate study sessions: Control and Chewing gum (chlorophyll flavour, with 2.1 g carbohydrate). Each session started with an ultrasound measurement of the antral area, followed by drinking 250 ml water. Then, volunteers either chewed a sugared gum for 45 min (Chewing gum) or did not (Control). Serial measurements of the antral area were performed during 120 min, and the half-time to gastric emptying (t½), total gastric emptying time, and gastric fluid volume before ingestion of water and 120 min later were calculated.


Gastric emptying of water was not different between sessions; the mean (sdsd) t½ was 23 (10) min in the Control session and 21 (7) min in the Chewing gum session (P=0.52). There was no significant difference between sessions in gastric fluid volumes measured before ingestion of water and 120 min later.


Chewing gum does not affect gastric emptying of water and does not change gastric fluid volume measured 2 h after ingestion of water.

Clinical trial registration:



chewing gum; gastric emptying; ultrasound imaging


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