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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Scintigraphic determination of small intestinal transit time: comparison with the hydrogen breath technique.

The hydrogen breath test was used as a standard against which a scintigraphic method for determination of small intestinal transit time was evaluated and compared. A total of 19 male volunteers ranging in age from 23 to 28 yr participated in the study. The subjects ingested an isosmotic lactulose solution containing 99mtechnetium-diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (Sn) and then remained supine under a large field of view gamma-camera that interfaced with a computer system. Data were visually analyzed and then quantified to determine gastric emptying and small intestinal transit time. The small intestinal transit time ranged from 31 to 139 min with the scintigraphic method and 30 to 190 min with the hydrogen breath test (r = 0.77). The mean small intestinal transit time for 20 individual determinations with the scintigraphic method, 73.0 +/- 6.5 min (mean +/- SEM), was similar to the results from the hydrogen breath test technique, 75.1 +/- 8.3 min. Thirteen volunteers underwent two studies with the scintigraphic method separated by intervals ranging from 2 days to 8 wk. Individual variations in small intestinal transit time were significantly correlated with individual variations in gastric emptying (p less than 0.05). We conclude that the scintigraphic method allows accurate determination of gastrocecal time and is a noninvasive technique which may be a useful clinical test for small intestinal transit time as well as for providing information on the pathophysiology and pharmacology of intestinal motility.[1]


  1. Scintigraphic determination of small intestinal transit time: comparison with the hydrogen breath technique. Caride, V.J., Prokop, E.K., Troncale, F.J., Buddoura, W., Winchenbach, K., McCallum, R.W. Gastroenterology (1984) [Pubmed]
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