Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Effects of truncal, selective, and highly selective vagotomy on glucose tolerance and insulin secretion in patients with duodenal ulcer. Part I-Effect of vagotomy on response to oral glucose.

Br Med J 1975; 2 doi: (Published 19 April 1975) Cite this as: Br Med J 1975;2:112
  1. C S Humphrey,
  2. J R Dykes,
  3. D Johnston


    An oral glucose tolerance test was performed in patients who had undergone truncal vagotomy and pyloroplasty, bilateral selective vagotomy and pyloroplasty, or highly selective vagotomy without a drainage procedure at least six months earlier. The results were compared with those from patients with chronic duodenal ulcer before operation. In all three groups of patients after vagotomy more rapid rates of rise of blood glucose and higher peak concentrations were observed than in patients who were tested before operation. These differences were statistically significant only in patients who had undergone truncal or selective vagotomy with pyloroplasty and were probably due to more rapid rates of gastric emptying after these operations. Plasma insulin concentrations were lower after truncal vagotomy than after selective or highly selective vagotomy, the difference between truncal vagotomy and highly selective vagotomy being statistically significant. Truncal vagotomy resulted in a diminished insulin response to oral glucose, which could have been due to vagal denervation of the pancreas or, more probably, impaired release of small-bowel hormones which normally augment the pancreatic insulin response.