Because the stomach plays an important role in the development of satiety, gastric function was examined in bulimia nervosa (BN).
Sixteen patients with BN and 16 controls swallowed an inflatable bag, which was positioned in the proximal stomach. Minimal distending pressure (MDP), the pressure needed to overcome intraabdominal pressure, was determined. Gastric volume was recorded after subjects drank a liquid meal.
MDP was similar in patient and control groups (7.56 ± 2.13 vs. 7.13 ± 2.06 mmHg; t = .57, df = 30, p = .58). Average postmeal gastric relaxation was significantly lower in the patient group (29.7 ± 97.8 vs. 105.1 ± 103.3 mL; t = 2.13, df = 30, p = .042).
Stomach relaxation following food consumption is significantly diminished in patients with BN. Physiologic abnormalities of stomach function in BN may contribute to the perpetuation of disturbances in behavior in this disorder.
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Accepted: January 24, 2003
Received in revised form: November 28, 2002
Received: August 7, 2002
© 2003 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.