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Spinal Cord. 2012 Jan;50(1):81-4. doi: 10.1038/sc.2011.92. Epub 2011 Aug 30.

SmartPill technology provides safe and effective assessment of gastrointestinal function in persons with spinal cord injury.

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  • 1VA RR&D Center of Excellence for the Medical Consequences of Spinal Cord Injury, James J Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Bronx, NY 10468, USA.

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN:

Spinal cord injury (SCI) results in gastrointestinal (GI) complications, including gastroesophageal reflux disease and constipation, but much of the data is based on older technology.

OBJECTIVE:

GI transit times were determined in subjects with SCI using a new device called a SmartPill. Our principal goal was to assess whether this new technology can be applied in persons with SCI.

METHODS:

SCI and age- and gender-matched able-bodied (AB) control subjects not taking proton pump inhibitors were studied. Following an 8-h overnight fast, subjects consumed 120 g EggBeaters (60 kcal), two slices of white bread (120 kcal) and 30 g strawberry jam (74 kcal). A pH calibrated SmartPill capsule was swallowed with 8 ounces of water, after which subjects fasted for an additional 6 h prior to consuming an Ensure Plus nutrition shake (350 kcal). Subjects remained fasted for an additional 2 h, after which time they resumed their regular diets.

RESULTS:

Twenty subjects with SCI and 10 AB control subjects were studied. Data are expressed as mean±s.d. Comparing the group with SCI to the AB control group, gastric emptying time (GET), colonic transit time (CTT) and whole gut transit time (WGTT) were prolonged (GET: 10.6±7.2 vs 3.5±1.0 h, P<0.01; CTT: 52.3±42.9 vs 14.2±7.6 h, P=0.01; WGTT: 3.3±2.5 vs 1.0±0.7 days, P<0.01). No complications or side effects were reported.

CONCLUSION:

Our results indicate that the SmartPill technology is a safe, non-invasive assessment technique that provides valid diagnostic information in persons with SCI.

PMID:
21876549
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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