The effects of a weakly acidic meal on gastric buffering and postprandial gastro-oesophageal reflux

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester MN 55905, USA.
Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics (Impact Factor: 5.73). 09/2011; 34(5):568-75. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2011.04761.x
Source: PubMed


Exclusion of the meal during ambulatory pH monitoring presumes that a meal completely buffers gastric acid and reflux of acidic food content cannot be distinguished from gastric acid. However, the ability of a meal to completely buffer gastric acid remains unclear.
To determine the effect of a weakly acid meal on gastric buffering and oesophageal acid exposure.
Patients undergoing multichannel intraluminal impedance pH studies were given a standard weakly acidic meal (pH = 5.9). Gastric and oesophageal pH was measured during the meal and in 15 min intervals for 2 h postprandially.
The study included 30 patients, with pathological acid reflux detected in 18 patients. Complete gastric buffering occurred in seven patients (23%) and was lost in all patients within 75 min of the meal. Oesophageal acid was detected in 33% of patients within 30 min of the meal and 81% of patients during the 2 h postprandial period. Postprandial oesophageal acid exposure was greater in patients with pathological acid reflux (9 ± 2.7% vs. 1.7 ± 0.8% P = 0.05) with a trend towards more incomplete gastric acid buffering and significant differences when measuring weak acid reflux (pH 4-5). Acid reflux rarely occurred in the absence of gastric acid, with gastric acid present in 74 of 79 (94%) fifteen minute postprandial intervals with acid reflux.
The ability of a meal to buffer gastric acid is poor. Early postprandial oesophageal acid reflux occurs in a substantial proportion of patients. Addition of a weakly acidic or pH neutral meal to ambulatory pH monitoring may unmask early postprandial acid reflux and provide data on gastric acid buffering.

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Available from: Debra M Geno, Oct 27, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and gastric acid hypersecretion respond well to suppression of gastric acid secretion. However, clinical management and research in diseases of acid secretion have been hindered by the lack of a non-invasive, accurate and reproducible tool to measure gastric acid output (GAO). Thus, symptoms or, in refractory cases, invasive testing may guide acid suppression therapy. AIM: To present and validate a novel, non-invasive method of GAO analysis in healthy subjects using a wireless pH sensor, SmartPill (SP) (SmartPill Corporation, Buffalo, NY, USA). METHODS: Twenty healthy subjects underwent conventional GAO studies with a nasogastric tube. Variables impacting liquid meal-stimulated GAO analysis were assessed by modelling and in vitro verification. Buffering capacity of Ensure Plus was empirically determined. SP GAO was calculated using the rate of acidification of the Ensure Plus meal. Gastric emptying scintigraphy and GAO studies with radiolabelled Ensure Plus and SP assessed emptying time, acidification rate and mixing. Twelve subjects had a second SP GAO study to assess reproducibility. RESULTS: Meal-stimulated SP GAO analysis was dependent on acid secretion rate and meal-buffering capacity, but not on gastric emptying time. On repeated studies, SP GAO strongly correlated with conventional basal acid output (BAO) (r = 0.51, P = 0.02), maximal acid output (MAO) (r = 0.72, P = 0.0004) and peak acid output (PAO) (r = 0.60, P = 0.006). The SP sampled the stomach well during meal acidification. CONCLUSIONS: SP GAO analysis is a non-invasive, accurate and reproducible method for the quantitative measurement of GAO in healthy subjects. SP GAO analysis could facilitate research and clinical management of GERD and other disorders of gastric acid secretion.
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