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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2008 Jan 15;27(2):186-96. Epub 2007 Oct 28.

Comparison of gastric emptying of a nondigestible capsule to a radio-labelled meal in healthy and gastroparetic subjects.

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  • 1Gastroenterology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA. bkuo@partners.org

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Gastric emptying scintigraphy (GES) using a radio-labelled meal is used to measure gastric emptying. A nondigestible capsule, SmartPill, records luminal pH, temperature, and pressure during gastrointestinal transit providing a measure of gastric emptying time (GET).

AIMS:

To compare gastric emptying time and GES by assessing their correlation, and to compare GET and GES for discriminating healthy subjects from gastroparetics.

METHODS:

Eighty-seven healthy subjects and 61 gastroparetics enrolled with simultaneous SmartPill and GES. Fasted subjects were ingested capsule and [(99m)Tc]-SC radio-labelled meal. Images were obtained every 30 min for 6 h. Gastric emptying time and percentage of meal remaining at 2/4 h were determined for each subject. The sensitivity/specificity and receiver operating characteristic analysis of each measure were determined for each subject.

RESULTS:

Correlation between GET and GES-4 h was 0.73 and GES-2 h was 0.63. The diagnostic accuracy from the receiver operating characteristic curve between gastroparetics and healthy subjects was GET = 0.83, GES-4 h = 0.82 and GES-2 h = 0.79. The 300-min cut-off time for GET gives sensitivity of 0.65 and specificity of 0.87 for diagnosis of gastroparesis. The corresponding sensitivity/specificity for 2 and 4 h standard GES measures were 0.34/0.93 and 0.44/0.93, respectively.

CONCLUSION:

SmartPill GET correlates with GES and discriminates between healthy and gastroparetic subjects offering a nonradioactive, standardized, ambulatory alternative to scintigraphy.

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