Background/aims: Recently, it has been proposed that decreased intestinal motility in fasting-induced hyperbilirubinemic rats probably results in an increase in the enterohepatic cycling of unconjugated bilirubin. We investigated the association among gastric emptying, intestinal transit time, and serum unconjugated levels in subjects with Gilbert's syndrome.
Methodology: Ten subjects with Gilbert's syndrome were included in this study according to the following criteria: fasting hyperbilirubinemia; no hemolysis or gastrointestinal disorders and free of any medication. Five normal, healthy volunteers acted as controls. Gastric emptying and intestinal transit time were evaluated after overnight fasting by administration of a standard meal mixed with 1-2ci of 99Tc-labeled diethylene-triamine-pentacetic acid. Serum unconjugated bilirubin levels were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography.
Results: The gastric emptying in Gilbert's syndrome subjects was 134.1 +/- 38.9 and 90.9 +/- 6.5 min in controls, P < 0.03. It was a tendency to have a shorter intestinal transit time in subjects with Gilbert's syndrome, 138.3 +/- 59.0, than in control subjects, 183.8 +/- 11.3 min. Serum unconjugated bilirubin levels (mg/dL) were 2.6 +/- 1.04 and 0.95 +/- 0.34, P < 0.01.
Conclusions: Gastric emptying is delayed significantly in Gilbert's syndrome, and intestinal transit time differences between Gilbert's syndrome subjects and controls were not significantly different.