Research Article

Release of vasoactive intestinal peptide in the dumping syndrome.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981; 282 doi: (Published 14 February 1981) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981;282:507
  1. G R Sagor,
  2. M G Bryant,
  3. M A Ghatei,
  4. R M Kirk,
  5. S R Bloom


    To determine the effect of gastric surgery on the plasma vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) concentration, 13 patients with gastrectomy and seven controls were given an oral hypertonic load (200 ml 50% glucose solution). Blood was taken at intervals during the test for measurement of VIP and blood glucose concentrations and packed cell volume. At the same time observations were made on the occurrence of dumping symptoms and a record kept of the pulse rate. VIP values in the patients with gastrectomy were significantly increased by glucose ingestion, while these did not alter in controls (p less than 0.001). There was a highly significant correlation between the rate of rise in plasma VIP concentration and the rates of rise in packed cell volume (r = 0.85; p less than 0.001) and blood glucose concentration (r = 0.76; p less than 0.01) in patients with gastrectomy. Changes in packed cell volume and blood glucose values and the occurrence of dumping symptoms during the test were significantly different when postoperative patients were compared with controls (p less than 0.001, p less than 0.005, and p less than 0.001 respectively). Furthermore, when the patients with gastrectomy were divided into those without symptoms and those with dumping after meals the latter group showed a significantly greater rise of VIP (p less than 0.05). Despite the increased plasma VIP concentrations observed during dumping, VIP cannot be taken as the sole factor in the pathogenesis of the dumping syndrome.