Standardization and quantification of radionuclide solid gastric-emptying studies

J Nucl Med. 2004 May;45(5):760-4.


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 gamma-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 gamma-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% confidence interval of the t distribution. The results were statistically analyzed and compared.

Results: The %GE reference values were greater for the anterior/posterior GM (>or=33%) than for the LAO (>or=31%) and anterior (>or=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 >or= 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 gamma-camera. We recommend the anterior/posterior GM method and have established reference values (>or=33%).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Gamma Cameras
  • Gastric Emptying*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Radionuclide Imaging / methods
  • Radionuclide Imaging / standards
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Reference Values
  • Stomach / diagnostic imaging*
  • Stomach / physiology
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sulfur Colloid
  • Time Factors


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sulfur Colloid