Measurement of gastric emptying by magnetic resonance imaging in humans

Gastroenterology. 1992 Aug;103(2):369-76. doi: 10.1016/0016-5085(92)90823-h.


A new noninvasive radiation-free method to measure gastric emptying in humans was developed. The upper abdomen was recorded with a magnetic resonance imager after administration of a liquid meal containing Gadolinium tetraazacyclododecane tetraacetic acid as a magnetic resonance image (MRI) marker. Meal volumes, total gastric volumes, and secretory rates were measured. The MRI technique was validated simultaneously by the double indicator method in 5 healthy volunteers and in 5 patients with symptoms of disordered gastric emptying applying gamma camera scintigraphy and MRI in randomized order. Similar gastric meal emptying curves were obtained in volunteers and in patients by MRI and the reference methods as assessed by linear (r greater than 0.90; P less than 0.001) and intraclass correlation analysis (r greater than 0.905) for T1/2, areas under the curve, and percent of gastric meal retained. Furthermore, similar total gastric volumes and gastric secretory rates were measured by MRI and the double indicator technique. The new MRI method correctly reflected gastric emptying disorders in patients. Thus for the first time it is possible to combine these measurements of gastric functions in a single method and to relate them to gastric morphology visualized by the generation of three-dimensional images.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Gastric Emptying / physiology*
  • Heterocyclic Compounds
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Stomach / diagnostic imaging


  • Heterocyclic Compounds
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • gadolinium 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-N,N',N'',N'''-tetraacetate