Human gastric emptying and colonic filling of solids characterized by a new method

Am J Physiol. 1989 Aug;257(2 Pt 1):G284-90. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.1989.257.2.G284.


Our first aim was to compare 111In-labeled Amberlite IR-12OP resin pellets and 131I-labeled fiber in the assessment of gastric and small bowel transit and colonic filling in healthy humans. Both radiolabels were highly stable for 3 h in an in vitro stomach model and remained predominantly bound to solid phase of stools collected over 5 days [90.5 +/- 2.1 (SE)% for 131I and 87.4 +/- 1.4% for 111In). The lag phase of gastric emptying was shorter for 111In-pellets (30 +/- 11 min compared with 58 +/- 12 min for 131I-fiber, P less than 0.05). However, the slope of the postlag phase of gastric emptying and the half time of small bowel transit were not significantly different for 111In-pellets and 131I-fiber. Filling of the colon was characterized by bolus movements of the radiolabel (10-80% range, 26% mean) followed by plateaus (periods of no movement of isotope into colon lasting 15-120 min, range; 51 min, mean). Half of the bolus movements occurred within 1 h of the intake of a second meal. Thus 111In-labeled Amberlite pellets provide an excellent marker for the study of gastric and small bowel transit and colonic filling in humans. The ileum acts as a reservoir and transfers boluses of variable sizes into the colon, often soon after the intake of a subsequent meal.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Colon / diagnostic imaging
  • Colon / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gastric Emptying*
  • Gastrointestinal Contents
  • Gastrointestinal Transit*
  • Humans
  • Indium Radioisotopes
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Stomach / diagnostic imaging
  • Stomach / physiology


  • Indium Radioisotopes
  • Iodine Radioisotopes