Measurement of gastric bicarbonate secretion in the human stomach: different methods produce discordant results.Scand J Gastroenterol. 1992 Oct; 27(10):829-36.SJ
Human gastric bicarbonate secretion has been measured by back-titration, from pH and pressure of carbon dioxide (PCO2) determinations (using the Henderson-Hasselbalch formula), and from equations based on gastric juice osmolality and [H+] (osmolality-[H+] method). Since these methods show large quantitative differences in their estimations of gastric bicarbonate secretion, we examined each to define the reasons for these discrepancies and establish guidelines for future work in this area. Bicarbonate recovery from 'non-parietal' secretions (0 to 80 mM HCO3) reacting with 'pure parietal secretion' (160 mM HCl) was studied both in vitro and in the pylorus-occluded healthy human stomach during acid suppression, exogenous acidification, and pentagastrin stimulation. The pH/PCO2 method estimated HCO3- accurately under anaerobic conditions in vitro, whereas the osmolality-[H+] method (with correction factors for osmolality incorporated by us) was accurate under aerobic conditions. In the acid-suppressed stomach back-titration was significantly more accurate than the pH/PCO2 method. In the exogenously acidified and pentagastrin-stimulated stomachs the pH/PCO2 method underestimated bicarbonates, and the osmolality-[H+] method was spuriously elevated in the low range and diminished at high bicarbonate concentrations. Estimates of 'basal' bicarbonate secretion (at zero added bicarbonate) were severalfold higher by the osmolality-[H+] method (5.26 +/- 0.33 mmol/h) than by the pH/PCO2 method (1.20 +/- 0.23 mmol/h) or back-titration (0.65 +/- 0.14 mmol/h). In conclusion, gastric bicarbonate was determined most correctly by back-titration in the acid-suppressed stomach, whereas measurement of bicarbonate in the acid-secreting stomach was not accurate with any method.