Background & aims: Marked hyperglycemia slows and hypoglycemia accelerates gastric emptying. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of physiological changes in blood glucose gastric emptying.
Methods: In 8 healthy subjects and 9 patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) without gastrointestinal tract symptoms or evidence of neuropathy, gastric emptying of a mixed meal was measured by scintigraphy. Using an insulin-glucose clamp, the blood glucose concentration was stabilized at 4 and 8 mmol/L on 2 separate days.
Results: The intragastric retention of the solid meal component at 100 minutes was 55.2% +/- 4.5% at 8 mmol/L vs. 36.7% +/- 5.5% at 4 mmol/L (P = 0.004) in normal subjects and 44.2% +/- 4.2% vs. 35.7% +/- 4.2% (P = 0.004) in patients with IDDM. The time taken for 50% emptying of the liquid meal was 57.0 +/- 10.8 minutes at 8 mmol/L vs. 32.2 +/- 12.6 minutes at 4 mmol/L (P = 0.002) in normal subjects and 41.3 +/- 3.4 minutes vs. 29.1 +/- 3.5 minutes (P = 0.002) in patients with IDDM.
Conclusions: Changes in blood glucose within the normal postprandial range have a significant impact on gastric emptying in both normal subjects and patients with IDDM.