Gastrointestinal scintigraphy for motility disorders
When is this exam indicated?
The scintigraphic study of the esophageal-gastro-duodenal transit scintigraphy is recommended in cases of difficulty in swallowing, difficulty in digestion, persistent diarrhea. Functional parameters useful to the gastroenterologist to provide a correct therapy, are obtained based the analysis of the images.
- Esophageal achalasia
- suspected gastroparesis
How is it performed?
The patient is required to fast for at least 6 hours. A little liquid (water) or solid (jam, toast, scrambled egg) meal to which a weakly radioactive substance is added is administered. After ingestion of the meal, the patient is asked to stand near the gamma chamber, which consists of two large plates that detect radioactivity. The patient must remain motionless for a time varying from a few seconds to one minute. Depending on the area to be investigated, several poses will be performed in sequence over time, usually every 30' for a total session lasting up to 4 hours.
The only contraindication is pregnancy. Patients with egg allergy can use other foods (e.g. cheese).