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Gut. 2000 Jun;46(6):768-73.

A valid, accurate, office based non-radioactive test for gastric emptying of solids.

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  • 1Gastroenterology Research Unit, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.



Current breath tests for measurement of gastric emptying of solids are expensive, possibly inaccurate, and require cumbersome calculations.


We wished to validate a simplified solid gastric emptying test using a [(13)C]Spirulina platensis breath test for accurate results relative to scintigraphy.


Thirty healthy volunteers.


We measured gastric emptying of egg containing [(13)C]S platensis and (99m)Tc sulphur colloid by breath (13)CO(2) and scintigraphy over six hours. A generalised linear regression model was used to predict t(1/2) and t(LAG) by scintigraphy from breath (13)CO(2) data. The model was cross validated and normative data calculated for a prepacked [(13)C]meal.


Regression models using all breath data over six hours, for the first three hours, and for samples at 75, 90, and 180 minutes ("reduced model") predicted t(1/2) and t(LAG) values similar to scintigraphy (t(LAG) 43 (SD 12) min; t(1/2) 100 (20) min). Standard deviations of differences in t(1/2) and t(LAG) between scintigraphy and the "reduced model" were both 10 minutes. Gastric t(1/2) for the prepacked [(13)C]meal was 91 (15) min (10-90% range: 74-118).


The [(13)C]S platensis breath test and a simple formula using breath (13)CO(2) at baseline, 90, and 180 minutes measured gastric emptying t(1/2) for solids with results that were comparable with scintigraphy.

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