Standardization and quantification of radionuclide solid gastric-emptying studies

Harvey A. Ziessman, Frederic H. Fahey, Frank B. Atkins, Jonathan Tall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The purposes of this investigation were to standardize and validate a simple quantitative method for performing radionuclide solid gastric emptying that can be used for any dual-head γ-camera and to establish reference values. Methods: After eating a solid meal (egg sandwich) labeled with a radionuclide, 20 healthy volunteers (9 male, 11 female) underwent a 90-min gastric-emptying study performed with a triple-head γ-camera. Two sets of 3 simultaneous projections were acquired sequentially for 30 s each: anterior, right posterior oblique (RPO), left posterior oblique (LPO), posterior, left anterior oblique (LAO), and right anterior oblique (RAO), and this sequence was repeated continuously for 90 min. Time-activity curves were generated using a gastric region of interest for each of the views as well as the conjugate-view geometric mean (GM) data for the anterior/posterior, LAO/RPO, and RAO/LPO combinations. Quantitative parameters were determined: percentage gastric emptying (%GE) at 90 min, half-time (min) based on an exponential fit, and clearance rate (%/min) based on a linear fit. Reference values were determined on the basis of a 95% con-fidence interval of the t distribution. The results were statistically analyzed and compared. Results: The %GE reference values were greater for the anterior/posterior GM (≥33%) than for the LAO (≥31%) and anterior (≥30%) GMs. The 3 %GE GM methods, the 3 exponential-fit GM methods, and the 3 linear-fit GM methods had high correlation coefficients (r ≥ 0.874), and with only a single exception, there was no statistical difference among them. The LAO method and LAO/RPO GM mean method correlated strongly (r = 0.900) and had similar mean values (52% vs. 51%) and reference values (29% vs. 30%). All 3 methods of GM quantification also correlated strongly, and there was no significant difference among them. Conclusion: We have described and validated a simple method for radionuclide solid gastric emptying that can be used with a dual-head γ-camera. We recommend the anterior/posterior GM method and have established reference values (≥33%).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)760-764
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2004


  • Gastric emptying
  • Gastroparesis
  • Stomach
  • Tc-sulfur colloid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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