Delayed Liquid Gastric Emptying in Patients With Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Chih-Yen Chen; Ching-Liang Lu; Full-Young Chang; Ya-Yu Wang; Kang Lih Jiun; Rei-Hwa Lu; Shou-Dong Lee
November 2000
American Journal of Gastroenterology;Nov2000, Vol. 95 Issue 11, p3230
Academic Journal
OBJECTIVE; Liver cirrhotic patients sometimes have disturbed gastric emptying (GE). Apparently there is no study addressing the issue of whether patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) have similarly impaired GE. Using impedance tomography to measure liquid GE, we attempted to assess the characteristics of GE in HCC patients. METHODS: We enrolled 34 healthy controls and 45 HCC patients in the current study, and compared their GE ac-cording to certain defined criteria. After each subject drank 500 ml of water. 12 electrodes were placed in a circular array around the subject's upper abdomen. One pair of electrodes was applied with electrical current, and the remaining 10 electrodes recorded signals consecutively in a rotating order. Based on tomographic calculation, serial changes in the averaged signals of altered resistivities were constructed to display liquid GE. Meanwhile, the demo-graphic and clinical data, various blood parameters, and gut peptide levels of the patients were recorded. RESULTS: The half emptying times in controls and HCC patients were 15.14 ± 1.56 and 21.38 ± 1.84 min, respectively (p < 0.05), whereas the areas under the emptying curve were 1732.2 ± 106.4 and 2246.6 ± 109.8 arbitrary units, respectively (p < 0.05). Delayed GE was observed in the HCC patients, as demonstrated by vomiting and anorexia. The cirrhotic component in HCC patients only resulted in a shorter period needed for full distention of the stomach after drinking (4.33 ± 1.02 vs 8.78 ± 2.1 min; p < 0.05). Other characteristics, including demographics, clinical state, tumor size, ascites, blood parameters, and gut peptides, had no influence on GE. CONCLUSIONS: Liquid GE is inhibited in HCC patients, particularly in those mainly showing symptoms of vomiting and anorexia. Other demographic and tumor characteristics are not responsible for delayed liquid GE; however, the cirrhotic component may promote stomach distention.


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