Proof of Concept: Design and Initial Evaluation of a Device to Measure Gastrointestinal Transit Time Journal Article


Authors: Wagner, R. H.; Savir-Baruch, B; Halama, J. R.; Venu, M; Gabriel, M. S.; Bova, D
Article Title: Proof of Concept: Design and Initial Evaluation of a Device to Measure Gastrointestinal Transit Time
Abstract: Chronic constipation and gastrointestinal motility disorders constitute a large part of a gastroenterology practice and have a significant impact on a patient#39;s quality of life and lifestyle. In most cases, medications are prescribed to alleviate symptoms without there being an objective measurement of response. Commonly used investigations of gastrointestinal transit times are currently limited to radiopaque markers or electronic capsules. Repeated use of these techniques is limited because of the radiation exposure and the significant cost of the devices. We present the proof of concept for a new device to measure gastrointestinal transit time using commonly available and inexpensive materials with only a small amount of radiotracer. Methods: We assembled gelatin capsules containing a 67Ga-citrate-radiolabeled grain of rice embedded in paraffin for use as a point-source transit device. It was tested for stability in vitro and subsequently was given orally to 4 healthy volunteers and 10 patients with constipation or diarrhea. Imaging was performed at regular intervals until the device was excreted. Results: The device remained intact and visible as a point source in all subjects until excretion. When used along with a diary of bowel movement times and dates, the device could determine the total transit time. The device could be visualized either alone or in combination with a barium small-bowel follow-through study or a gastric emptying study. Conclusion: The use of a point-source transit device for the determination of gastrointestinal transit time is a feasible alternative to other methods. The device is inexpensive and easy to assemble, requires only a small amount of radiotracer, and remains inert throughout the gastrointestinal tract, allowing for accurate determination of gastrointestinal transit time. Further investigation of the device is required to establish optimum imaging parameters and reference values. Measurements of gastrointestinal transit time may be useful in managing patients with dysmotility and in selecting the appropriate pharmaceutical treatment.
Journal Title: Journal of nuclear medicine technology
Volume: 45
Issue: 3
ISSN: 1535-5675; 0091-4916
Publisher: by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging  
Journal Place: United States
Date Published: 2017
Start Page: 230
End Page: 235
Language: eng
DOI/URL:
Notes: LR: 20170906; CI: (c) 2017; JID: 0430303; OTO: NOTNLM; 2017/02/23 [received]; 2017/06/13 [accepted]; ppublish