Impaired proximal duodenal mucosal bicarbonate secretion in patients with duodenal ulcer

The New England Journal of Medicine
J I IsenbergM A Koss


The defensive factors that prevent the human duodenal mucosa from acidic and peptic damage have not been fully evaluated. To determine whether duodenal mucosal bicarbonate production was altered in patients with inactive duodenal ulcer, we measured basal and acid-stimulated bicarbonate output from the duodenal bulb and the distal duodenum in healthy subjects and patients with inactive duodenal ulcer. As compared with 16 normal subjects, the 12 patients had significantly less mean (+/- SE) basal proximal duodenal mucosal bicarbonate secretion (185 +/- 13 vs. 107 +/- 18 mumol per centimeter per hour; P less than 0.001). Moreover, in response to a physiologic amount of hydrochloric acid (2 mmol per five minutes) instilled directly into the duodenal bulb, peak proximal duodenal bicarbonate output in the patients was 41 percent of the normal response (263 +/- 65 vs. 642 +/- 77 mumol per centimeter per hour; P less than 0.01). There was little overlap between groups. In contrast, bicarbonate outputs in the distal duodenum were similar in the two groups. We conclude that most patients with duodenal ulcer disease have decreased proximal duodenal mucosal bicarbonate production at rest, in response to hydrochloric acid, and in relation t...Continue Reading


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