Cheese is a reliable alternative meal for solid-phase gastric emptying study

Nucl Med Commun. 2010 May;31(5):430-3. doi: 10.1097/MNM.0b013e328333d2f0.


We evaluated the labeling stability of several alternative meals that could be used to perform solid-phase gastric emptying study. Cooked egg whites labeled with technetium-99m sulfur colloid served as a control. Packaged instant oatmeal and instant mashed potatoes were prepared by adding hot water. Cheddar cheese was melted. Peanut butter was added to bread. The different meals were mixed with technetium-99m sulfur colloid (2.2-3.7 MBq), chopped into small pieces and placed in a glass tube containing gastric juice. Four samples of each meal were analyzed after 1 and 4 h of agitation with a 3-D rotator (two samples per time point). The meal samples were washed with 2 ml of saline and filtered using a blood transfusion filter. The activity in each sample before and after filtering was assayed in a dose calibrator. The percentage of initial radioactivity remaining with the meal of admixture with gastric juice was measured and the average of the two samples was taken. The percentage of activity bound to the solid phase was 98.2+/-1.9, 95.6+/-1.1, 62.1+/-1.7, 41.8+/-0.6, and 74.5+/-3.8% at 1 h and 98.5+/-1.0, 95.8+/-2.6, 77.2+/-6.8, 55.5+/-3.4 and 40.2+/-22.1 at 4 h for egg whites, cheese, oatmeal, mashed potatoes and peanut butter respectively. For egg whites and cheese, there was no significant difference between the values at 1 and 4 h (P>0.8). Cheddar cheese provides an alternative meal for assessing solid gastric emptying in children comparable to egg whites. Oatmeal and mashed potatoes had low and variable labeling stability and are not recommended. In view of the significant proportion of pediatric patients who refuse to eat scrambled eggs or have allergy to eggs, the availability of other meal choices is essential. The versatility of cheddar cheese, which can be added to macaroni or as a topping on pizza, makes it a useful alternative to labeled eggs.

MeSH terms

  • Cheese*
  • Child
  • Egg Hypersensitivity
  • Eggs
  • Gastric Emptying*
  • Humans
  • Isotope Labeling / methods*
  • Nuclear Medicine / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Technetium
  • Time Factors


  • Technetium