Neurogastroenterology and Motility vol:15 issue:2 pages:113-20
As an octanoic acid 13CO2 breath test is frequently used to test gastric emptying of solid food, the purpose of the present study was to study whether oxidative breakdown of octanoic acid is affected by severe liver disease. The design of our study was twofold. First, cirrhotic patients (n = 82) of varying severity were compared with healthy controls (n = 17). Values of half-time, time point of maximal expiration and cumulative recovery of octanoic acid breath tests (OBT) were not significantly different between them. Secondly, cirrhotic patients (n = 10) were studied before placement of transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt, 4-7 days later and 1-2 months later. Values of half-time, time point of maximal expiration and cumulative recovery of consecutive OBTs did not change significantly. The OBT may therefore be a suitable test in the future to detect delayed gastric emptying of solids in cirrhotic patients with reduced liver function and portal hypertension.