Variability associated with repeated measurements of gastrointestinal tract motility in dogs obtained by use of a wireless motility capsule system and scintigraphy

Am J Vet Res. 2010 Aug;71(8):903-8. doi: 10.2460/ajvr.71.8.903.


Objective: To compare repeatability of measurements of gastrointestinal tract motility in healthy dogs obtained by use of a wireless motility capsule (WMC) and scintigraphy.

Animals: 6 healthy adult dogs (mean +/- SD body weight, 21.5 +/- 1.8 kg).

Procedures: A radiolabeled test meal was offered immediately after oral administration of a WMC. Serial static scintigraphic abdominal images were acquired for 270 minutes. A dedicated remote receiver was used for data collection from the WMC until the WMC was expelled in the feces. Each dog was evaluated 3 times at intervals of 1 to 2 weeks.

Results: Mean gastric emptying half-time measured by use of scintigraphy (T(1/2)-GES) for each dog ranged from 99.9 to 181.2 minutes. Mean gastric emptying time (GET) measured by use of the WMC (GET-WMC) in each dog ranged from 385.3 to 669.7 minutes. Mean coefficient of variation was 11.8% for T(1/2)-GES and 7.8% for GET-WMC. The intraclass correlation coefficient was 69% for T(1/2)-GES and 71% for GET-WMC. Results for a nested analysis of covariance suggested that both methods were comparable for the evaluation of gastric emptying.

Conclusions and clinical relevance: Scintigraphy and a WMC system had similar variation for assessment of gastric emptying. Moderate intraindividual variability was detected for both methods and must be considered when interpreting test results for individual dogs. Repeatability of measurements obtained by use of the WMC was equivalent to that obtained by use of scintigraphy. The WMC system offers a nonradioactive, user-friendly method for assessment of gastric emptying in dogs.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Capsule Endoscopy / methods
  • Capsule Endoscopy / veterinary
  • Dog Diseases / epidemiology
  • Dogs
  • Eating / physiology
  • Female
  • Gastric Emptying / physiology
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / veterinary
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / physiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Transit / physiology
  • Humans
  • Intestine, Large / diagnostic imaging
  • Intestine, Large / physiology
  • Intestine, Small / diagnostic imaging
  • Intestine, Small / physiology
  • Posture
  • Radiography
  • Radionuclide Imaging / methods
  • Radionuclide Imaging / veterinary
  • Technetium / therapeutic use
  • Time Factors


  • Technetium