Background: Cholestyramine enhances gallbladder emptying and plasma cholecystokinin responses to oral ingestion of a mixed meal. It is not known whether this effect occurs independently of alterations in gastric emptying or maldigestion of nutrients.
Methods: We perfused 15 g of an amino acid meal intraduodenally for 60 min in seven healthy volunteers, once with and once without cholestyramine. Intraduodenal perfusion of saline with or without cholestyramine (6 g/h) was started 60 min before the amino acid meal and continued for 2 h.
Results: Cholestyramine markedly enhanced the incremental plasma cholecystokinin response to the meal from 36 +/- 12 to 139 +/- 25 pmol/l x 60 min (P < 0.005), incremental amylase output from 2.4 +/- 0.7 to 5.7 +/- 0.7 kU/h (P < 0.05), and incremental integrated gallbladder contraction from 1948 +/- 235 to 2840 +/- 189% x 60 min (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: The enhancing effect of cholestyramine on postprandial gallbladder contraction, pancreatic enzyme secretion, and plasma cholecystokinin release is not dependent on gastric emptying rates or appropriate digestion of nutrients.