Studies on basal and pentagastrin-stimulated gastric secretion were carried out in 20 patients with cirrhosis, 20 with non-cirrhotic portal fibrosis (NCPF) and 20 control subjects. There was no significant difference in the basal volume and acid output between the three groups. However, maximal volume and acid output were significantly lower in patients with cirrhosis and NCPF compared with the control group. There was no correlation between the acid secretion and the degree of hepatocellular dysfunction in patients with cirrhosis. Moreover, the gastric hyposection was as marked in the patients with NCPF as in those with cirrhosis, although the former did not suffer from any hepatic decompensation. It is concluded that gastric hyposecretion is not due to a derangement of hepatocyte function but may be secondary to portal hypertension and collateral circulation.

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