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Clin Nucl Med. 2006 May;31(5):262-5.

Relationship between gastric emptying and gastroesophageal reflux in infants and children.

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  • 1Department of Nuclear Medicine, Ege University Medical Faculty, Izmir, Bornova, Turkey.



The aim of our study was to evaluate the relationship between gastric emptying and gastroesophageal reflux (GER) in infants and children.


One hundred eight patients (pts) between 3 months and 5 years of age (77 boys, 31 girls) with clinical suspicion of GER disease were included in the study. Patients were divided into 2 groups according to the age range: group A, 0-2 years (57 pts), and group B, 2-5 (51 pts) years. Each group was divided into 2 subgroups according to the scintigraphic study as GER-positive and -negative. Cow's milk with Tc-99m sulfur colloid as radiotracer was used. Gastric emptying was expressed as the half emptying time (T1/2). The detection of activity in the esophagus at any time during scintigraphy was considered an indicator of GER episodes. Reflux episodes were graded as grade 1 if activity was detected on one or 2 frames and grade 2 if activity was detected on more than 2 frames.


Forty of the 108 patients (37%) had GER findings on scintigraphy. The comparison of gastric emptying time between positive GER scintigraphy and negative GER scintigraphy groups was not statistically significant in any age group. No association was found between age and rate of gastric emptying time. Although the comparison of T1/2 between grade 1 patients and the GER-negative group was not statistically significant, grade 2 patients showed significant differences and had prolonged gastric emptying times. Mild statistical correlation between the number of reflux episodes and gastric emptying half time was found.


As a conclusion, the relation between gastroesophageal reflux and delayed gastric emptying cannot be ignored. Our results support delayed gastric emptying to be a pathogenetic factor in gastroesophageal reflux in infants and children.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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