American Journal of Physiology. Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology vol:286 issue:2 pages:G278-84
Decreased acid clearance and increased exposure to acid of the duodenum have been reported in a subset of functional dyspepsia patients. However, the mechanism by which increased duodenal acid exposure may affect symptoms is unclear. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of duodenal acidification on proximal gastric tone and mechanosensitivity in humans. An infusion tube with a pH electrode attached was positioned in the second part of the duodenum, and a barostat bag was located in the gastric fundus. In 12 healthy subjects, fundic tone and sensitivity to distensions were assessed before and during duodenal infusion of 0.1 N hydrochloric acid or saline in a randomized, double-blind design. In 10 healthy subjects, meal-induced accommodation was measured during duodenal infusion of acid or saline. Acid infusion in the duodenum significantly increased fundic compliance and decreased fasting fundic tone. This was accompanied by a significant decrease in the pressures and the corresponding wall tensions at the thresholds for discomfort. During infusion of acid, significantly higher perception and symptom scores were obtained for the same distending pressures. The meal-induced fundic relaxation was significantly smaller during acid infusion compared with saline infusion. In conclusion, duodenal acidification induces proximal gastric relaxation, increases sensitivity to gastric distension, and inhibits gastric accommodation to a meal. Through these mechanisms, increased duodenal acid exposure may be involved in the pathogenesis of dyspeptic symptoms.