Basal and postprandial levels of the foregut hormones gastrin, cholecystokinin (CCK), motilin, and pancreatic polypeptide, and the distal gut hormones neurotensin and peptide YY were measured in 20 patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD was defined by abnormal esophageal exposure to pH less than 4. Ten GERD patients had decreased lower esophageal sphincter (LES) pressure (mean: 4.5 nun Hg, range: 0.8 to 6.8 mm Hg), and 10 patients had normal LES pressures (mean: 14.1 mm Hg, range: 9.7 to 22.4 mm Hg). Eight age-matched healthy subjects were also studied. Basal levels of peptide YY were moderately decreased in GERD patients compared with controls irrespective of LES pressure. In patients with abnormal LES pressure, basal levels of motilin and the postprandial response of CCK were significantly decreased compared with controls; and basal levels of neurotensin and the postprandial response of gastrin were significantly increased compared with controls. Pancreatic polypeptide levels were similar in all groups. These gut hormone changes, which are more marked in patients with poor LES pressure, may reflect primary or secondary abnormalities in GERD.
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