The study of gastric emptying is usually performed by scintigraphy. Over the last years alternative non radioactive methods have been developed based on the stable isotopes technology. Such techniques use 13C-octanoic acid to measure gastric emptying of solids and sodium 13C-acetate to measure liquids emptying.
The enrichment of 13C in breath air along the time reflects the velocity of gastric emptying. Kinetic parameters can be obtained from this enrichment to quantify gastric emptying. Samples can be obtained outside the processing laboratory. Due to the characteristics of the method, it is adequate and safe to evaluate pathologies related to gastric emptying and the efficiency of the therapy.
CITATION Rev Med Univ Navarra. 1998 Apr-Jun;42(2):83-90