The synchronous changes in antral gastrin and somatostatin release in anesthetized, nonatropinized duodenal ulcer patients and control subjects were investigated by serial intraoperative blood sampling from the right gastroepiploic vein. The mean basal antral plasma gastrin and somatostatin concentrations of the two groups did not differ significantly. The significantly greater gastric acid secretory response to systemic gastric acid stimulation (pentagastrin stimulation) in duodenal ulcer patients compared with that of control subjects was not linked to any difference in antral somatostatin release pattern. The decrease in antral plasma gastrin release was significantly lower after acid instillation and the increase was significantly higher after alkali instillation in duodenal ulcer patients compared with those of controls, indicating an abnormal gastrin response to intragastric pH changes in duodenal ulcer patients, which was again not found to be coupled to any significant difference in antral somatostatin release. The results suggest that an abnormal somatostatin-mediated inhibition of gastrin release and/or gastric acid secretion does not exist in duodenal ulcer patients.