Circadian acidity pattern in gastric ulcers at different sites

V. Savarino, G. S. Mela, P. Zentilin, C. Mansi, S. Vigneri, F. Di Mario, A. Malesci, A. Calabro, P. Sossai, G. Celle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Continuous intragastric pH monitoring was used in a large group of gastric ulcer patients to assess whether the 24-h acidity pattern varies in relation to the ulcer location within the stomach and to assess whether there is a circadian rhythm of pH fluctuations in this disease. Methods: One hundred and thirty-three consecutive patients (79 male and 54 female, mean age 53 yr) with endoscopically and histologically proven benign gastric ulcer and 131 healthy subjects (70 male and 61 female, mean age 48 yr) were studied with a pH mini-electrode positioned in the gastric corpus. Ulcer patients were divided into four subgroups in relation to the crater site: 1) above the angulus (n = 23); 2) angularis (n = 42); 3) antral (n = 26); and 4) prepyloric (n = 42). Results: Subgroups 1 and 2 are characterized by significantly lower acidity (p <0.0001) than healthy subjects for every time segment examined (24-h, day and night). Antral ulcers are less acidic than normal for both the total 24-h period (p <0.01) and the night period (p <0.0001), whereas prepyloric ulcers are less acidic for the night only (p <0.01). In all subgroups of gastric ulcer, the acidity is higher during the evening than the night. Conclusions: The circadian acidity of gastric ulcer patients is significantly lower than normal, and this is particularly true during the nocturnal period. There is a gradient of gastric acidity that increases progressively as the lesion approximates to the pylorus. The well known circadian rhythm of gastric acidity with relatively higher acid levels during the evening than the night was maintained in all of the gastric ulcer subgroups we created.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-258
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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