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Gallbladder function in acromegalic patients taking long-term octreotide - evidence of rebound hypermotility on cessation of treatment

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Robert James, Professor Pat Kendall-Taylor, Professor Thomas Lennard


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Octreotide is increasingly being used in the treatment of acromegaly. It effectively suppresses growth hormone secretion but also has inhibitory effects on gastrointestinal regulatory peptides and induces gallbladder paresis, which may predispose to gallstone formation. In nine acromegalic patients receiving long-term octreotide treatment gallbladder emptying, assessed by Tc-99-EHIDA scintigraphy after a standard fatty meal, was significantly impaired (p < 0.005) when compared with normal healthy control subjects. Asymptomatic gallstone formation occurred in one patient who had the most severely impaired gallbladder emptying. Between 24 and 96 h after cessation of octreotide, in six of seven patients studied, gallbladder emptying had not only recovered but demonstrated significant rebound hypermotility (p < 0.005). This finding has important implications for the administration of long-term octreotide therapy and suggests that a drug-free period each week may enable evacuation of gallbladder contents and reduce the risk of gallstone formation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Rhodes M, James RA, Bird M, Clayton B, Kendall-Taylor P, Lennard TWJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology

Year: 1992

Volume: 27

Issue: 2

Pages: 115-118

Print publication date: 01/01/1992

ISSN (print): 0036-5521

ISSN (electronic): 1502-7708