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Br J Radiol. 1988 Jan;61(721):12-8.

Proximal, distal and total stomach emptying of a digestible solid meal in normal subjects.

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  • 1Department of Nuclear Medicine, Royal Adelaide Hospital, South Australia.


The gastric fundus and antrum probably play different roles in the emptying of solids and liquids in man, but there is little information about the intragastric distribution of food. We have used a new radionuclide technique to quantify proximal, distal and total stomach emptying of a digestible solid meal (100 g of 99Tcm-labelled liver/ground beef given with 150 ml of 10% dextrose) in 13 normal subjects. A proximal reservoir area was seen after consumption of the meal, and used to define the proximal stomach region. A line drawn immediately below this area divided the total stomach region into proximal and distal stomach. Emptying from the total stomach exhibited two phases--an initial lag period (median 41 min, range 21-57 min), followed by approximately linear emptying. Redistribution of food from the proximal to the distal stomach was a major component of the lag period in 11 of the 13 subjects. In the remaining two subjects, redistribution was rapid (proximal 50% emptying time of 4 and 10 min) and antral retention was the major component of the lag period. In seven subjects, a region of reduced activity (contraction band) was seen. The midpoint of this band closely approximated to the line used to divide proximal and distal stomach. We suggest that a contraction band may be responsible for the proximal gastric reservoir seen after meal consumption and plays an important role in the redistribution and emptying of digestible solid food from the stomach. There is considerable variation between normal subjects in the rate of transfer of digestible solid food from the proximal to the distal stomach.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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