Gastric function and histology were investigated in 24 patients with untreated chronic renal failure. At endoscopy nine patients had oesophagitis, 12 patients were considered to have gastritis, and the duodenum appeared inflamed in 20 patients. Endoscopic biopsies were taken at standard sites in the stomach and duodenum; gastritis was found in all patients, and 17 patients had duodenitis. Stimulated acid secretion was impaired in seven out of 20 patients and acid hypersecretion was found in a further two patients. Pepsin output correlated well with acid output in these patients. Fasting serum gastrin levels were elevated in 12 of the 19 patients tested. Patients with atrophic gastritis had low acid outputs and hypergastrinaemia, and when extensive gastritis was present, the patients tended to have more severe renal failure and hyposecretion of acid. Three patients were studied again after regular haemodialysis or renal transplantation and were found to show marked endoscopic and histological improvement.
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