Ten patients who had undergone total or subtotal gastrectomy for carcinoma 1 to 8 years earlier were evaluated in terms of subjective symptoms, endoscopy and the presence of bile in esophagojejunal aspirates obtained by direct aspiration during endoscopy. The concentrations of individual bile acids were determined by means of gas chromatography. Six of the patients had macroscopic esophagitis and all of them also had bile in their aspirate. The remaining four patients with normal esophageal mucosa did not have positive specimens. Neither did the total bile acid concentration nor any of the individual bile acids, regardless of whether they were free or conjugated, correlate with the severity of symptoms or the degree of endoscopic esophagitis. Esophagitis healed in all three patients who underwent conversion of loop esophagojejunostomy to a long Roux-Y reconstruction.