Published: 2016-12-19

Liquid gastric emptying time 1/2 in infants: establishing reference range and it’s co-relation with presence of gastro-esophageal reflux

Ashutosh Parashar, Shwetal Uday Pawar, Mangala Kedar Ghorpade, Suruchi Suresh Shetye, Gundu Hari Tilve


Background: Gastric emptying time ½ (GET ½) is considered as the half time taken for chyme to pass into the duodenum. Gastric emptying depends upon numerous factors, both endogenous and exogenous. Nerve and hormones along with volume of meal, pH, particle size, composition and viscosity play part in gastric emptying. Aim of the study was to determine liquid gastric emptying Time ½ in infants and to evaluate impact of positive GER on Gastric Emptying Time.

Methods: Total 149 full term babies from 29th day to 1 year of age; underwent Tc-99m labeled with Sulfur colloid GER scintigraphy using age specific formula. Babies with gastro-intestinal anomalies, lactose intolerance and low birth weight babies were excluded. The reference range of GET ½ was estimated from GER negative group and the same was compared with GER positive group.

Results: Out of 149 babies 96 (64%) babies were GER positive and 53 (36%) were negative for GER. The liquid GET ½ values generated for 29th day-3 months, 4-6 months, 7-9 months and 10 months -1year were 62.67 (12.42), 69.84 (13), 63.5 (9.7) and 53.2 (10) minutes respectively. The liquid GET½ was found to be delayed in severe GER positive group.

Conclusions: The reference range for liquid GET½ was estimated from GER negative group utilizing the exclusion criteria thereby avoiding radiation exposure to normal controls. With increasing severity of GER there was consequent prolongation of liquid GET½.


Formula liquid meal, GER scintigraphy, Liquid GET½, Reference range

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