Roux-en-Y reconstruction is sometimes associated with symptoms that suggest food stasis, as a result of dysmotility of either the gastric remnant and/or the efferent jejunal limb.
To study the possible effect of intravenous erythromycin lactobionate on gastric emptying of solids in patients who have undergone a Roux-en-Y procedure.
Twenty-four patients with a Roux-en-Y procedure participated in the study. Ten of them had undergone truncal vagotomy with pyloroplasty; the remaining 14 had undergone a Billroth II subtotal gastrectomy as the initial antiulcer procedure. Sixteen healthy subjects served as controls.
All healthy subjects and patients underwent assessment of gastric emptying of a standard radiolabeled solid meal after administration of placebo or 200 mg of erythromycin lactobionate intravenously. Scanning was done with a gamma camera, and emptying curves were constructed. From these curves the half-time of gastric emptying was calculated.
Patients with severe symptoms of gastric stasis had a significantly longer half-time than did patients with mild or no symptoms (P=.002). Patients with a Billroth II subtotal gastrectomy as the initial antiulcer procedure had a significantly worse grade of symptoms (P=.01) and a significantly prolonged half-time (P=.02) compared with patients with a truncal vagotomy with pyloroplasty as the initial antiulcer procedure. Erythromycin significantly reduced the half-time in the controls (P<.001) and all patients after Roux-en-Y procedure (P<.001).
Erythromycin could be a useful prokinetic drug in patients with Roux stasis syndrome.