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Protective Effect of Cimetidine on Aspirin-Induced Gastric Mucosal Damage

PETER A. MacKERCHER, M.D.; KEVIN J. IVEY, M.D., F.A.C.P.; WILLIAM N. BASKIN, M.D.; and WILLIAM J. KRAUSE, Ph.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Kevin J. Ivey, M.D., F.A.C.P.; Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, University of Missouri; Columbia, MO 65201.


Columbia, Missouri


Ann Intern Med. 1977;87(6):676-679. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-87-6-676
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Aspirin alters the gastric mucosal barrier as measured by ionic flux and potential difference. The effect of cimetidine on aspirin-induced alterations in gastric mucosa was studied in five normal male volunteers. Aspirin effects were studied with and without previous treatment with cimetidine. Mean (± SEM) basal potential difference was -48 ± 1 mV. After 600 mg of aspirin in 1 dl of isotonic saline, potential difference decreased in 10 min to -39 ± 1 mV (P < 0.001) and returned to baseline within 60 min. Control biopsies showed 2% damaged mucosal cells compared with 20% damaged at the time of maximal drop in potential difference (P < 0.001) after aspirin. Recovery to 9% damage occurred by 60 min. In subjects pretreated with 300 mg cimetidine, potential difference rose during 1 h to -62 ± 1 mV (P < 0.001). After aspirin potential difference fell to -48 ± 1 mV compared with -39 ± 1 mV with aspirin alone (P < 0.01) and returned to -62 ± 1 mV at 60 min. The cimetidine-treated group showed 4% mucosal damage at the peak potential difference fall after aspirin, significantly less (P < 0.02) than in the untreated subjects.

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