Regional postprandial differences in pH within the stomach and gastroesophageal junction

Dig Dis Sci. 2005 Dec;50(12):2276-85. doi: 10.1007/s10620-005-3048-0.


Our objective was to determine regional differences in intragastric pH after different types of meals. Ten normal subjects underwent 27-hr esophagogastric pH monitoring using a four-probe pH catheter. Meals were a spicy lunch, a high-fat dinner, and a typical bland breakfast. The fatty dinner had the highest postprandial buffering effect, elevating proximal and mid/distal gastric pH to 4.9 +/- 0.4 and 4.0 +/- 0.4, respectively, significantly (P < 0.05) higher compared to 4.2 +/- 0.3 and 3.0 +/- 0.4 for the spicy lunch and 3.0 +/- 0.3 and 2.5 +/- 0.8 for the breakfast. The buffering effect of the high-volume fatty meal to pH > 4 was also longer (150 min) compared to that of the spicy lunch (45 min) and the bland breakfast, which did not increase gastric pH to > 4 at any time. Proximal gastric acid pockets were seen between 15 and 90 min postprandially. These were located 3.4 +/- 0.8 cm below the proximal LES border, extending for a length of 2.3 +/- 0.8 cm, with a drop in mean pH from 4.7 +/- 0.4 to 1.5 +/- 0.9. Acid pockets were seen equally after the spicy lunch and fatty dinner but less frequently after the bland breakfast. We conclude that a high-volume fatty meal has the highest buffering effect on gastric pH compared to a spicy lunch or a bland breakfast. Buffering effects of meals are significantly higher in the proximal than in the mid/distal stomach. Despite the intragastric buffering effect of meals, focal areas of acidity were observed in the region of the cardia-gastroesophageal junction during the postprandial period.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Esophagogastric Junction / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gastric Acid / metabolism*
  • Gastric Acidity Determination
  • Gastric Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Gastroscopy
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration*
  • Male
  • Postprandial Period / physiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reference Values
  • Sensitivity and Specificity