Passage of Chyme along the Small Intestine

Chyme is expelled from the stomach into the duodenum in 'packets' in response to the hormonal (chole-cystokinin and secretin) influence on gastric emptying. The aqueous component of the meal is emptied first as larger solid particles are reduced by the activity of the gastric musculature. The lipid component of the meal is liable to separate within the stomach lumen and remain as one of the last fractions of the meal to be emptied.

Chyme appears to mix rapidly within the duodenum presumably by rapid segmentation action, and the early parts of the meal pass rapidly along the duodenum and jejunum possibly because the nutrient content of this initial packet is aqueous and therefore lower. Some observations suggest that certain meals produce retroperistaltic movements within the proximal small intestine.

The transit rate of chyme is reduced gradually through the second half of the small intestine, the ileum. The remnants of the meal are released across the ileo-caecal valve as the pressure of contents within the ileum rises.

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