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J Nucl Med. 1990 Jun;31(6):985-9.

Colon transit scintigraphy in health and constipation using oral iodine-131-cellulose.

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  • 1Department of Nuclear Medicine, St. George Hospital, Kogarah, New South Wales, Australia.


The purpose of the study was to assess if a new scintigraphic method for noninvasive assessment of colonic transit could differentiate between subjects with normal bowel transit and those with constipation. Eleven normal subjects and 29 constipated patients were given 4 MBq iodine-131-cellulose (131I-cellulose) orally and sequential abdominal scans were performed at 6, 24, 48, 72, and 96 hr from which total and segmental percent retentions were calculated. There were clear differences between the normal subjects and the constipated patients for the total percent retention at all time intervals, on a segmental basis in the right colon at 24 hr, and in all segments at 48 and 72 hr. Three-day urinary excretion of radioiodine was minimal; 2.4% +/- 1.2% (mean +/- s.d.) in constipated patients and 3.1% +/- 0.8% in normals, with approximately 75% occurring in the first day. The use of oral radiotracers in the investigation of constipation appears promising.

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