Background/objective: Abnormal gastric function may be involved in the pathogenesis of several gastrointestinal functional disorders. This study evaluated gastric tone in gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD).
Methods: Proximal gastric tone was measured with an electronic barostat in fasting conditions and after oral ingestion of a 200 ml/200 kcal liquid meal in 10 patients with GORD, with control groups consisting of 10 patients with dysmotility-like dyspepsia and 16 healthy subjects.
Results: Minimal distending pressure was increased in GORD patients compared to dyspeptic patients (P < 0.04) and controls (P< 0.001). Maximal postprandial gastric relaxation was significantly increased in GORD patients (430 +/- 95 ml) compared to dyspeptic patients (200 +/- 152 ml, P < 0.0001) and controls (342 +/- 88 ml, P= 0.05). Endoscopy-negative and mild oesophagitis patients had more profound maximal relaxation than patients with moderate or severe oesophagitis, whereas those with dyspepsia had significantly reduced gastric relaxation compared to GORD patients and controls (P < 0.002).
Conclusions: In GORD, the postprandial gastric relaxation is more pronounced than in normal and dyspeptic patients. The pathophysiological relevance of this abnormal motility pattern remains to be determined.