Correlation Between Gallbladder Size and Release of Cholecystokinin After Oral Magnesium Sulfate in Man

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In order to determine the effect of oral magnesium sulfate on gallbladder contraction and release of cholecystokinin (CCK) in man, magnesium sulfate (25 g in 100 ml distilled water) was given by mouth to five fasting adult male volunteers. Plasma samples were collected for measurement of CCK by a specific radioimmunoassay. Gallbladder volumes were determined from sonograms obtained from a phased-array real-time ultrasound scanner. Basal concentrations of CCK (82.2 ± 10.1 pg/ml) increased significantly at 20 minutes after oral magnesium sulfate (113.8 ± 7.1 pg/ml), and reached a maximal value at 50 minutes (150.0 ± 42.0 pg/ml). The mean basal volume of the gallbladder was 30.8 ± 5.3 cm3 and maximum reduction of gallbladder volume (to one third of original) was achieved at 50 minutes after ingestion of magnesium sulfate. Linear regression analysis showed a close correlation (r = −0.9337) between plasma concentrations of CCK and gallbladder size in response to magnesium sulfate. Oral magnesium sulfate also caused a significant increase in serum gastrin (from basal of 51.4 ± 9.9 pg/ml to 69.8 ± 15.5 pg/ml at 5 min); there was no significant correlation between gastrin release and gallbladder contraction. This study provides direct evidence that the mechanism of magnesium sulfate-stimulated gallbladder contraction occurs through the release of CCK, and shows a close correlation between CCK release and contraction of the gallbladder.

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