Objective: To investigate gastric emptying and intestinal transit of pelleted pancreatin in relation to food boluses.
Methods: Dual isotope scintigraphy combined with breath hydrogen sampling was used to track the concurrent gastric emptying and intestinal transit of 111indium labelled microspheres and a 99mtechnetium labelled tin colloid test meal. Twelve pancreatic insufficient cystic fibrosis patients aged 5 to 38 years performed the study.
Results: 50% gastric emptying times showed patient to patient variation. The mean discrepancy in 50% gastric emptying times between the two labels was > 67 minutes. Mean small bowel transit time for the food bolus was prolonged at 3.6 minutes. A significant correlation was seen between weight standard deviation score and 50% emptying time for pancreatin (r = +0.73).
Conclusion: Gastric mixing of food and pancreatin may be limited by rapid emptying of microspheres. Patients with high dosage requirements could benefit from changing the pattern of their pancreatin supplementation.