Effect of size and density on canine gastric emptying of nondigestible solids

Gastroenterology. 1985 Oct;89(4):805-13. doi: 10.1016/0016-5085(85)90576-1.


Previous studies suggested that the food-containing canine stomach retains large, nondigestible spheres until all food has emptied; but it is not known whether there is a threshold size or a gradation of sizes that will empty along with food. Further, nothing is known of the effects of such parameters as density, shape, and surface energy on the emptying of nondigestible particles of any given size. To answer these questions 6 dogs with chronic duodenal fistulas were studied. Radiolabeled food and spheres were collected from the fistulas to compare the rate of gastric emptying of the spheres with that of the food. After a standard test meal of 99mTc-labeled liver, steak, and water, diverted chyme was collected over a stack of sieves in 30-min fractions over 5 postcibal hours. The percent of fed spheres and fed 99mTc-labeled liver in each collection was counted, and liquid chyme was returned to the distal duodenum. Spheres with a density of 1 emptied progressively faster as sphere diameters were decreased from 5 to 1 mm; but 0.015-mm spheres emptied at about the same rate as those with diameters of 1 mm. Emptying of the spheres became similar to emptying of the 99mTc-labeled liver at about 1.6 mm. Spheres with densities less than 1 or greater than 1 emptied more slowly than spheres of the same size with a density of 1, whereas paper squares emptied the same way as spheres of comparable size and density. Surface energy did not affect emptying. The findings indicated that both sphere size and density affect their emptying in the presence of food.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dogs
  • Electrophysiology
  • Female
  • Food*
  • Gastric Emptying*
  • Intestine, Small / physiology
  • Male
  • Meat
  • Nylons
  • Particle Size
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene
  • Pyloric Antrum / physiology
  • Scintillation Counting
  • Specific Gravity
  • Time Factors


  • Nylons
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene