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Oesophageal Motility Study

This test attempts to determine whether or not there is an abnormal transit of solid and liquid through the oesophagus.

This involves the patient standing upright against a camera and swallowing some water and small pieces of marshmallow labelled with a small amount of radioactive material.

Preparation: Fast for 4 hours
Test Duration: 20 minutes
Are there any after effects: No

Clinical Indications:

  • Assess swallowing of liquids and solids
  • Oesophageal reflux

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Gastric Emptying Study

This test is used to determine how quickly food leaves your stomach. We will cook a nice breakfast for you (eggs on toast) and take images of your stomach throughout the day.

Preparation: Fast for 6 hours
Test Duration: 4 hours (you are not in the department the whole time).
Are there any after effects: No

Clinical Indications:

  • Gastroparesis (slow emptying of
    the stomach)

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The above is a normal gastric emptying study. The stomach empties the meal normally, and is almost completely empty by 4 hours.

Colon Transit Study

This test measures the movement of substances that enter and leave the colon over time. It evaluates disorders of colonic motility, ie. constipation.

This test requires you to drink a small amount of radioactivity. We then image the bowel over the next 5 days. On Monday morning you will have the drink and then will return to the department 6 hours later for the first image. Thereafter, you will need to return each morning for a 10 minute image until Friday.

Preparation: Discontinue any laxatives or bowel mobility agents 3 days before the study commences.
Test Duration: Each visit to the department will be 10 minutes.
Are there any after effects: No

Clinical Indications:

  • Constipation
  • Assess for areas of colon with impaired function

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This colon transit study is abnormal. On the 96 hour picture (day 5) there is still a lot of retention in the bowel. In a normal study, the bowel would contain no activity at 96 hours.

Meckel’s Scan

This study is used to look for the presence of ectopic gastric mucosa in the small bowel. If this condition exists it can cause pain in the abdomen and blood in the stool. You will receive an injection of a radioactive material (radiopharmaceutical) into a vein in your arm and images will commence immediately.

Preparation:

  • Fast for 4 hours
  • No barium studies for 48 hours prior to this test

Test Duration: 45 minutes.
Are there any after effects: No

Clinical Indications:

  • Localise ectopic gastric mucosa in a Meckel diverticulum as the source of unexplained gastrointestinal bleeding

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GI Bleeding Study

This test is used to localise the site of gastro-intestinal bleeding. This test involves removing some of your blood, labelling your blood so the camera can detect it, and then re-injecting your blood into your body so we can detect any abnormal bleeding.

Preparation: Nil
Test Duration: Initial Images – 1 hour (however further images may be required)
Are there any after effects: No

Clinical Indications:

  • To identify an active gastro-intestinal bleed in patients with active gastro-intestinal bleeding.

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