The UCD Experience with Classic Gastric Emptying Scintigraphy – Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Jonathan Kuo


Purpose: Gastric emptying scintigraphy (GES) is the gold standard for diagnosing gastroparesis. We retrospectively investigate the largest number of GES at a single institute using the classic protocol. The gastric emptying half-time (T50) is evaluated with factors that may alter the half-time.


Method: 515 solid GES were compared with the patient’s medical history, drugs used before exam, gender, body mass index (BMI) at the time of exam, indication for the exam, and age. After consumption of Technetium-99m albumin colloid, anterior and posterior images were acquired in 15 minutes intervals for at least 90 minutes. The half-time was linearly or exponentially interpolated on the basis of multiple data points using software.


Results: The average normal T50 was 72.8 minutes ± 50.2 minutes. T50 increased in patients with a medical history of diabetes (p < 0.042), hiatal hernia, gastrointestinal obstruction, esophagitis, use of narcotic (p < 0.003), and a BMI under 18.5. It did not have any correlation with gender. T50 decreased with increasing age or use of metoclopramide (p < 0.0005).


Conclusion: GES is an important diagnostic step that leads to the correct treatment.  T50 is an easy and objective value for diagnosing gastroparesis. It is associated with many diseases that nuclear physicians and radiologists should be aware of.



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Journal of Biomedical Graphics and Computing    ISSN 1925-4008 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4016 (Online)

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