1. To compare the bioavailability and the elimination of propranolol in seven untreated coeliac patients and six normal subjects, plasma concentrations were measured after oral and intravenous propranolol. The bioavailability and clearance of propranolol were similar in both groups.
2. With the use of a perfusion technique, propranolol absorption in the proximal jejunum was found to be decreased by 71% in five untreated coeliac patients, compared with the absorption in four normal subjects.
3. These results indicate that propranolol absorption is decreased in the proximal jejunum in untreated coeliac disease but overall absorption in the small bowel is not impaired.