Gastrointestinal Motility, Part 2: Small-Bowel and Colon Transit

J Nucl Med Technol. 2016 Mar;44(1):12-8. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.113.134551.


Because of the difficulty often encountered in deciding whether a patient's symptoms originate in the upper or lower gastrointestinal tract, gastrointestinal transit scintigraphy is a uniquely suited noninvasive, quantitative, and physiologic method of determining whether there is a motility disorder affecting the stomach, small bowel, or colon. Small-bowel and colon transit studies can be performed alone or together with gastric emptying studies after oral administration of an appropriately radiolabeled meal. It is hoped that newly published standards for performing these studies and the anticipated arrival of new Current Procedural Terminology codes in the United States for small-bowel and colon transit studies will increase their availability and use.

Keywords: colon transit scintigraphy; gastrointestinal scintigraphy; small-bowel transit scintigraphy; whole-gut transit scintigraphy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Colon / diagnostic imaging
  • Colon / physiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Transit*
  • Humans
  • Intestine, Small / diagnostic imaging
  • Intestine, Small / physiology*