Liquid Gastric Emptying

What is Liquid Gastric Emptying?

Liquid gastric emptying is a study that determines the existence of delayed gastric emptying by demonstrating what percent of liquid emptied from your stomach over time. The final result of the exam is a calculation of the gastric emptying rate. The nuclear medicine technologist uses a computer to calculate the "percent remaining" over time and your physician will use this figure to guide your treatment.

How do I prepare for this exam?

You must have nothing to eat or drink for six (6) hours prior to the exam. If you have any food allergy (specifically eggs) or dietary restrictions, please let us know at the time that your exam is scheduled.

For infants and children, please bring formula or fruit juice in a disposable container to the exam.  For patients who use feeding tubes, please bring your own tubes and syringes. These items may not be returned to you if they are still found to be radioactive at the end of the exam.

What will happen during the exam?

One of the nuclear medicine technologists will mix a trace amount of radioactive material with the liquid you will drink or in a meal that is prepared for you. You will not taste the radioactive tracer nor will it have any affect on your bodily functions.

After finishing the meal, imaging will begin. You will be asked to stand in front of a gamma camera for 90 seconds. This process will be repeated every 15 minutes for a total of 90 minutes. Feel free to bring a book or other materials with you to occupy your time during images. Parents will stay with their children throughout the entire procedure.

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