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Rivista di Medicina Interna
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,6
Panminerva Medica 1998 Settembre;40(3):183-5
Effect of moderate and heavy alcohol consumption on intestinal transit time
Papa A., Tursi A., Cammarota G., Certo M., Cuoco L., Montalto M., Cianci R., Papa V., Fedeli P., Fedeli G., Gasbarrini G.
From the Department of Internal Medicine Division of Gastroenterology, Policlinico «A. Gemelli» Catholic University, Rome, Italy
Background. Alcohol abusers frequently have gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. In the genesis of these symptoms multiple mechanisms are involved, including alteration of gastrointestinal motility. The aim of our study was to investigate oro-cecal transit time (OCTT) using the H2-breath test (H2-BT) in moderate and heavy drinkers.
Materials and methods. We studied 40 chronic drinkers: 20 with heavy alcohol consumption (≥60 g/day for men and ≥40 g/day for women) and 20 with moderate alcohol intake (<60 g/day for men and <40 g/day for women). The control group consisted of 20 teetotal subjects. All subjects underwent a lactulose H2-BT to assess OCTT.
Results. OCTT in heavy alcohol drinkers ranged from 100 to 240 min, with a mean of 149.5 min, while OCTT in moderate drinkers ranged from 70 to 140 min, with a mean of 109 min. In the control group the mean OCTT was 100 mins, ranging from 70 to 130 min. The difference between alcohol abusers and controls was statistically significant; on the contrary, there was no statistically significant difference between moderate alcohol drinkers and teetotallers.
Conclusions. Our study shows that only in chronic heavy alcohol drinkers is OCTT clearly increased. Multiple mechanisms are hypothesized to explain motility disorder, such as visceral autonomic neuropathy, inflammation and loss of contractile proteins of smooth muscle layer of the small intestine.