Background: Gastrointestinal dysfunction and related clinical symptoms are common in Parkinson's disease (PD), but the underlying mechanisms are still poorly understood. Objective: In this study, we investigated how PD affects the postprandial vascular response in the splanchnic circulation. Methods: 23 patients with PD in the 'ON-medication' state and 23 age- and sex-matched healthy control participants underwent serial phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging (PC-MRI) to measure the postprandial blood flow response in the superior mesenteric artery (SMA). Participants ingested a standardized liquid test meal (∼400 kcal) and underwent four PC-MRI runs within the following hour. Each PC-MRI run consisted of six consecutive measurements of SMA blood flow. Results: In both groups, standardized food intake triggered an increase of blood flow in the SMA, but absolute and relative increases in blood flow were attenuated in patients compared to the control group (p<0.001). While baseline blood flow in the SMA was comparable in both groups, the postprandial maximum blood flow was attenuated in patients (p=0.03). The temporal dynamics of the postprandial blood flow did not differ between groups. Postprandial SMA blood flow increase in patients correlated neither with subjective reports of non-motor symptoms or upper gastrointestinal complaints, nor with levodopa equivalent daily dose or disease duration. Blood glucose measurements in between the PC-MRI runs showed a smaller postprandial increase in blood glucose in the patient group (p=0.006). Conclusion: This study provides first-time evidence that patients with PD have an attenuated postprandial blood flow response in the SMA, indicating an impaired functional regulation of gastrointestinal perfusion in response to food intake in PD.

TidsskriftJournal of Parkinson's Disease
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)545-557
Antal sider13
StatusUdgivet - 13 apr. 2021


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