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Annual Meeting of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition; Orlando, October 22-24, 1998


Arumugam, R.; Scheimann, A.; Dhekne, R.; Gopalakrishna, G.

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Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition: October 1998 - Volume 27 - Issue 4 - p 477
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Abstract 55

BACKGROUND: Gastroparesis is characterized by symptoms resulting from impaired emptying of gastric contents in the absence of mechanical obstruction. Gastric scintigraphy is the preferred method of investigation to evaluate gastroparesis as it is safe, noninvasive, minimal radiation dose, quantitative and more physiological. Knowledge of gastric emptying in childhood is very limited.

AIM: Purpose of this study is to estimate the gastric emptying time of solids and liquids in children undergoing gastric scintigraphy.

METHODS: Retrospective review was performed on 498 children (51% female, median age 3.3 yr, range 2 wk to 20.5 yr) who underwent 563 gastric scintigraphies from Jan 1992 to May 1998 at Texas Children's Hospital. Sequential imaging of the abdomen was obtained for 90 minutes in the left anterior oblique projection, while the patient was supine following a meal of either liquid milk formula (175cc/m2 body surface area) in infants and neurologically handicapped children or 1 to 2 scrambled eggs with bread toast in older children radiolabeled with 0.5 to 1 MCI of Tc 99m sulfur colloid. Two hundred and sixty eight tests were performed with solids and 295 with liquid. Gastric emptying was expressed as the time in minutes taken for the gastric activity to decrease to 1/2 of the original value (T1/2)

RESULTS: The median T1/2 of solids was 99±101 min and liquids was 75±120 min, p=0.001. There was slight positive correlation between age and T1/2 (r=0.14, p=0.001). Analysis of 52 children who have undergone serial gastric scintigraphies (two to four) also revealed slight increase in T1/2 with age. There was no significant difference in T1/2 between sexes or those with and without gastric surgery such as fundoplication/gastrostomy.

CONCLUSIONS: (1) Gastric emptying time of liquids is shorter than solids. (2) There is a slight increase in T1/2 with age (3) There is no difference in T1/2 between sexes or before and after gastric surgery.

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