The role of gastric secretion has been controversial in patients with cirrhosis. Except for studies of gastric secretion in cirrhotic patients who underwent a shunt operation, there is no report correlating gastric secretion with portal pressure in patients with cirrhosis. In this study, we evaluated gastric secretion in cirrhotic patients and correlated it with hemodynamic parameters. Within 12 months, 20 normal volunteers and 16 cirrhotic patients were enrolled. Gastric secretion was assessed in all patients, but portal pressure hemodynamic studies were performed only in cirrhotic patients. We found that the median basal acid output, maximal acid output, and basal pepsin output in the controls (1.41 mmol/h, 9.2 mmol/h, and 0.02 mg/h, respectively) and in the cirrhotic patients (0.6 mmol/h, 7.84 mmol/h, and 1.5 mg/h, respectively) were not statistically different. However, maximal pepsin output was lower in the cirrhotic patients (1.5 mg/h) than in the normal subjects (5.14 mg/h) (p <0.05). Gastric secretion correlated poorly with hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) and the presence of congestive gastropathy in cirrhotic patients. The severity of congestive gastropathy correlated poorly with HVPG. Helicobacter pylori has difficulty replicating in the stomach when HYPG is >14 mm Hg. We conclude that patients with cirrhosis have a lower maximal pepsin output than that of the healthy subjects. Gastric secretion correlates poorly with HVPG and the presence of congestive gastropathy in patients with cirrhosis.
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