Comparison of gastric emptying times in healthy cats simultaneously evaluated with radiopaque markers and nuclear scintigraphy

Goggin JM, Hoskinson JJ, Kirk CA, et al.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 1999;40:89-95.

Gastric emptying in 18 healthy cats was assessed simultaneously using scintigraphy and barium-impregnated polyethylene spheres (BIPS). Canned Prescription Diet Feline c/d (Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc., Topeka, KS) labeled with 99mTc-disofenin (Hepatolite, DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Co., Billerica, Mass.) was fed on four separate days. Scintigraphic images were obtained at time 0 and then every 30 minutes to 6 hours. On the fourth scan day, 30 small (1.5 mm) and 10 large (5 mm) BIPS (Chemstock Animal Health Ltd., Christchurch, New Zealand) were mixed with the labeled meal, and in addition to scintigraphy, radiographs were made at 60-minute intervals for 6 hours. Gastric emptying was 11 to 15% slower on the day of simultaneous radiography as compared with the 3 days when only scintigraphy was performed (p < or = .05). Percentage retention of 1.5 mm BIPS in the stomach was significantly greater than the percentage retained gastric activity at hours 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 (p < or = .05). BIPS were clustered in the pyloric region of the stomach by 3 hours in all cats. In 10/18 animals, all BIPS were retained in pyloric region of the stomach at 6 hours, despite observable decreased size of the gastric silhouette and < or =15% retained gastric activity. In conclusion, gastric emptying of 1.5-mm BIPS does not parallel gastric emptying of 99mTc-disofenin labeled canned Prescription Diet Feline c/d. Stress associated with radiography may delay gastric emptying. Diet type should be considered when evaluating clinical radiographic studies where BIPS have been used.