Digestive diseases and sciences vol:49 issue:11-12 pages:1745-1751
Application of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-receptor antagonists may hold promise for the treatment of visceral pain. In this study we evaluated the effect of oral S(+)-ketamine (sKET), a noncompetitive NMDA-receptor antagonist, on visceral sensitivity in healthy volunteers. Eight healthy volunteers (five male, three female) underwent a gastric barostat study following oral administration of placebo, 25 mg sKET, and 50 mg sKET. Studies were performed in a double-blind randomized crossover fashion. Sensations evoked by stepwise isobaric distension (2 mm Hg/2 min) were scored on a 100-mm visual analogue scale. In addition, fasting and postprandial fundic volume were measured at a fixed pressure level (MDP + 2 mm Hg). During gastric distension, sKET did not alter sensation scores for bloating, nausea, satiation, and pain compared to placebo. sKET had also no effects on the thresholds for pain/discomfort, fundic wall compliance, fundic tone, or meal-induced fundic relaxation. sKET does not reduce visceral perception or gastric motility in healthy volunteers. The role of sKET in conditions characterized by visceral hypersensitivity needs to be studied further.