Gastric secretion of acid was measured in
healthy subjects (group 1), chronic alcoholics
(group 2), patients with chronic pancreatitis associated with heavy alcoholism (group 3), and
patients with chronic pancreatitis (group 4).
Mean basal and maximal acid outputs of groups
2 and 3 were similar and were significantly less
than those of group 1. There was no significant
difference in the acid output between group 1
and 4. Patients with achlorhydria or low acid
output had either atrophic or superficial gastritis
regardless of the group. No correlation was observed between maximal acid output and the severity of pancreatic exocrine insufficiency. Our
observations suggest that the frequent occurrence of hyposecretion of acid or achlorhydria in
patients with chronic pancreatitis is related to
the effect of the chronic intake of excessive
alcohol on the stomach.