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J Nucl Med. 1995 Jan;36(1):93-6.

Evaluation of an inexpensive screening scintigraphic test of gastric emptying.

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  • 1Gastroenterology Research Unit, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905.

Abstract

Our goal was to study the accuracy of a limited assessment relative to the traditional and obtain a more detailed approach to measure gastric emptying.

METHODS:

We prospectively evaluated 35 patients referred to our laboratory with suspected fast or slow gastric emptying. Transit was measured radioscintigraphically after ingestion of an egg meal containing 99mTc-Amberlite pellets. Gastric emptying was analyzed by power exponential analysis. Diagnostic accuracy of simpler indices (gastric residual at 2 and 4 hr) was determined by comparing the categorization of patients as normal or abnormal relative to previously published normal data from our laboratory.

RESULTS:

Gastric residual at 2 hr showed greater diagnostic accuracy for accelerated gastric emptying with 90% sensitivity at 90% specificity. Gastric residual at 4 hr was less accurate for accelerated emptying, but was more accurate at detecting delayed gastric emptying with 100% sensitivity at 70% specificity. In contrast, sensitivity and specificity of gastric residual at 2 hr for slow emptying were low (100% sensitivity with 20% specificity) emphasizing the importance of obtaining a scan later than 2 hr for detecting delayed gastric emptying.

CONCLUSION:

Selective scans taken at 2 and 4 hr provide an excellent screening test for detecting fast or slow gastric emptying; the accuracy of 2-hr data is optimal for accelerated emptying and that of the 4-hr data greater for delayed emptying. This strategy provides a simple, less expensive way to evaluate gastric emptying in clinical practice with acceptable sensitivity and specificity as an initial test for patients with clinically suspected gastric stasis or dumping syndromes.

PMID:
7799090
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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