The mechanisms for improved glycemic control after bariatric surgery in subjects with type 2 diabetes (T2D) are not fully known. We hypothesized that dynamic hepatic blood responses to a mixed-meal are changed after bariatric surgery in parallel with an improvement in glucose tolerance.
A total of ten morbidly obese subjects with T2D were recruited to receive a mixed-meal and a glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) infusion before and early after (within a median of less than three months) bariatric surgery, and hepatic blood flow and volume (HBV) were measured repeatedly with combined positron emission tomography/MRI. Ten lean non-diabetic individuals served as controls.
Bariatric surgery leads to a significant decrease in weight, accompanied with an improved β-cell function and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) secretion, and a reduction in liver volume. Blood flow in portal vein (PV) was increased by 1.65-fold (P = 0.026) in response to a mixed-meal in subjects after surgery, while HBV decreased in all groups (P < 0.001). When the effect of GIP infusion was tested separately, no change in hepatic arterial and PV flow was observed, but HBV decreased as seen during the mixed-meal test.
Early after bariatric surgery, PV flow response to a mixed-meal is augmented, improving digestion and nutrient absorption. GIP influences the post-prandial reduction in HBV thereby diverting blood to the extrahepatic sites.