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DOI: 10.1186/s12876-019-0948-6; PMCID: PMC6371451


BACKGROUND: In adults, there is a consensus for standards to diagnose gastroparesis utilizing a gastric emptying study as the key diagnostic modality but there is no consensus for a standard in pediatrics. Additionally, some cost savings might be achieved if symptoms could be utilized to predict patients with gastroparesis. The aims of the current study were to confirm the sensitivity of a 4 h study in the pediatric population and to assess whether the severity of symptoms were predictive of delayed gastric emptying.

STUDY: This was a single site, two part study. In the first part, results were reviewed for all patients who had completed a 4-h, solid gastric emptying study over the course of a 3 year period. In the second portion of the study, participants scheduled for a gastric emptying study, completed a modified GCSI questionnaire.

RESULTS: Out of a total of 109 participants, at 2 h, 14 participants (12.8%) had abnormal studies as compared to 26 (23.85%) participants who had abnormal studies at 4 h (p = .0027). Of the 95 participants with normal studies at 2 h, 15% (14/95) were abnormal at 4 h. There were no differences in symptom severity scores between those with slow and those with normal emptying at either 2 h or 4 h.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study adds independent confirmation that extending studies from 2 to 4 h increases the diagnostic yield and should be the standard in children and adolescents as it is in adults.

Journal Title

BMC gastroenterology [electronic resource]





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MeSH Keywords

Adolescent; Child; Child, Preschool; Cost Savings; Female; Gastric Emptying; Gastroparesis; Humans; Male; Prospective Studies; Radionuclide Imaging; Radiopharmaceuticals; Surveys and Questionnaires; Technetium Tc 99m Sulfur Colloid; Time Factors


Gastric emptying; Pediatrics; Scintigraphy


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