Gastric emptying and plasma neurotensin levels in untreated celiac patients

M. T. Bardella, M. Fraquelli, M. Peracchi, B. M. Cesana, P. A. Bianchi, Dario Conte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Upper gastrointestinal motor abnormalities could account for some of the dyspeptic symptoms of celiac patients. However, the data on gastric emptying time are conflicting, and the pathophysiology of motor disturbances is still unclear. Neurotensin modulates upper gastrointestinal motor activity, and its postprandial increase is a reliable index of nutrient delivery to the ileum. We therefore assessed both plasma neurotensin levels and gastric emptying in untreated celiacs. Methods: The gastric antral area of nine untreated celiac patients and nine controls was measured with ultrasound at base line and every 30 min after a fatty meal (227 kcal, 45% fat); the base-line and postprandial neurotensin plasma levels were determined by means of radioimmunoassay. The data are mean values ± standard deviation and were analyzed by using non-parametric tests. Results: The overall and half gastric emptying time were significantly longer in the patients (203 ± 32 versus 133 ± 15 min, P = 0.0117, and 137 ± 32 versus 78 ± 11 min, P = 0.0001). The pattern of the changes in antral area was similar in both groups during the observation period as a whole but differed significantly in the first 120 min (P=0.0343). Base-line neurotensin levels were significantly higher in the patients (41.6 ± 23.9 versus 18.2 ± 5.5 pg/ml, P = 0.0214) and their net postprandial increase was lower than in controls (15.0 ± 15.9 versus 29.8 ± 13.0 pg/ml, P = 0.046). In both groups the base-line neurotensin levels were related to the half gastric emptying time (P = 0.023). Conclusions: In untreated celiac patients gastric emptying time is longer than in controls and is concomitant with an increase in base- line plasma neurotensin levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-273
Number of pages5
JournalScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Celiac disease
  • Gastric emptying
  • Neurotensin
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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