Effects of octreotide on manometric variables in patients with neuropathic abnormalities of the small bowel

Dig Dis Sci. 1997 Aug;42(8):1634-9. doi: 10.1023/a:1018845011625.


At present, there are few therapeutic options in patients with chronic intestinal dysmotilities. Octreotide, a long-acting somatostatin analog, has recently been shown to be a potentially useful drug in this setting, being able to start activity fronts (AF) in the small bowel in both healthy subjects and patients with intestinal motor disorders. We studied the effects of octreotide on manometric variables in 10 patients with chronic upper gastrointestinal symptoms and an intrinsic neuropathic disorder of the small intestine. Gastrointestinal manometry was carried out for 6 hr during fasting and 2 hr after a standard 605-kcal mixed meal. Thereafter octreotide, 50 micrograms subcutaneously was administered and the recording session continued for a further hour. Analysis of the tracings during fasting showed that 44% of the AF were abnormal; octreotide significantly increased the hourly number of AF (2 +/- 0.26 vs 0.67 +/- 0.14, P < 0.0001) and their duration (8.33 +/- 1.3 vs 6.12 +/- 0.34 min, P < 0.05) with respect to the baseline (fasting) period, and the propagation velocity also significantly slowed (3.4 +/- 0.4 vs 11 +/- 0.6 cm/min, P < 0.05). After the drug, 80% of patients displayed two AF and 10% more than two AF; the first AF after octreotide was always abnormally propagated. An almost complete inhibition of small bowel postprandial contractile activity was observed in 80% of patients, and the remaining 20% showed decreases. In three subjects, octreotide injection evoked the appearance of pylorospasm. From these results we conclude that octreotide could be of some benefit in patients with neuropathic disorders of the small bowel, although it remains to be established whether it is most useful in patients with more severe conditions, characterized by the complete absence of AF. The appearance of pylorospasm may contribute to the delayed gastric emptying observed after the drug is administered.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Intestine, Small / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Manometry
  • Middle Aged
  • Octreotide / pharmacology*
  • Postprandial Period
  • Pyloric Antrum / physiopathology


  • Gastrointestinal Agents
  • Octreotide