Intragastric distribution and gastric emptying assessed by three-dimensional ultrasonography

Gastroenterology. 1997 Jul;113(1):38-49. doi: 10.1016/s0016-5085(97)70078-7.


Background & aims: Three-dimensional (3D) ultrasound imaging of the total stomach volume has not yet been achieved. The aim of this study was to investigate whether a magnetic position sensor system for acquisition of 3D ultrasonograms could be used to determine gastric emptying rates and intragastric distribution.

Methods: A system for position and orientation measurement was interfaced to an ultrasound scanner. In vitro accuracy was evaluated by scanning a porcine stomach. Fourteen volunteers, with a median age of 35 years, were scanned fasting and postcibally by two-dimensional (2D) and 3D ultrasound after ingesting a 500-mL soup meal.

Results: This 3D system yielded a strong correlation (r = 0.997) between true and estimated volumes in vitro. The limits of agreement were -9.1:70.1 mL in the volume range 1200-1900 mL. The intersubject variability of the total gastric volumes ranged from 12.5% to 46.0%, less than for antral area variability. The average half-emptying time was 22.1 +/- 3.8 minutes. Intragastric distribution of the meal, expressed as proximal distal volume, varied on average from 3.6 +/- 2.1 (5 minutes postpradially) to 2.7 +/- 1.9 (30 minutes postprandially).

Conclusions: This 3D ultrasound system using magnetic scanhead tracking showed excellent in vitro accuracy, calculated gastric emptying rates more precisely than by 2D ultrasound, and enabled estimation of intragastric distribution of a soup meal.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Food
  • Gastric Emptying* / physiology
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / physiology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Male
  • Stomach / diagnostic imaging*
  • Swine
  • Time Factors
  • Ultrasonography