Effect of Octreotide on Gastrointestinal Motility in Children with Functional Gastrointestinal Symptoms

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The somatostatin analogue octreotide has been proposed as a possible therapeutic agent in patients with abnormal gastrointestinal motility. This study was conducted to study the effects of 0.5 µg/kg and 1.0 µg/kg subcutaneous octreotide on antroduodenal motility in children with chronic gastrointestinal disorders.


Twenty-three children were studied, eight with intestinal pseudo-obstruction, six with nonulcer dyspepsia, six with gastroesophageal reflux disease, and three with intractable constipation. After recording fasting motility for more than 4 hours, the children were randomized to receive 0.5 µg/kg or 1 µg/kg of subcutaneous octreotide. Motility was recorded for another hour after feeding in 12 children.


Phase III of the motor migrating complex was present in 13 of 23 children before and in 21 after octreotide (p < 0.02). All phase III episodes after administration of octreotide except one originated in the small intestine. Phase IIIs after octreotide were longer and were propagated faster than the spontaneous phase IIIs. There were no antral contractions during fasting after octreotide. There was a significant decrease in phase II intestinal motor activity in the hour after administration of octreotide (p < 0.001). There was no difference in effect between the two doses. After feeding, antral contractions were present in all children, and intestinal phase IIIs were not abolished.


In children with chronic bowel disorders, subcutaneous octreotide induced phase IIIs that differed from spontaneous phase IIIs and were not inhibited by meals. Octreotide decreased antral motility during fasting and inhibited intestinal phase II. Feeding abolished the inhibitory effect of octreotide on antral motility.

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