Gastric emptying of solid food in patients with gastroesophageal reflux

Gastroenterology. 1987 Feb;92(2):459-65. doi: 10.1016/0016-5085(87)90142-9.


While delayed gastric emptying of solid food has been reported in patients with symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux, the study populations were not defined by 24-h intraesophageal pH monitoring. Moreover, the influence that the gastric emptying rate may have on patterns of reflux during the day or night, as well as on esophagitis, is not known. In this study, we compared the gastric emptying rate of solid food (in vivo intracellular labeled chicken liver) observed in asymptomatic control volunteers (n = 15) with that of symptomatic patients with an abnormal 24-h pH record who had either the presence (n = 22) or absence (n = 11) of endoscopic esophagitis. We found no significant difference in the gastric emptying rate between the asymptomatic control volunteers and the symptomatic patients with and without esophagitis. Moreover, there was no significant correlation between the gastric emptying rate and the degree of daytime or nighttime distal esophageal acid exposure found during 24-h intraesophageal pH monitoring. Only 6% of the symptomatic patients had a gastric emptying rate that exceeded the mean value plus 2 SD of that found in the asymptomatic control volunteers. We believe these support a de-emphasis of the role that delayed gastric emptying of solid food may play in the pathophysiology of gastroesophageal reflux in most patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Chickens
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Female
  • Gastric Emptying*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Male
  • Manometry
  • Meat
  • Middle Aged