The Gastric Emptying Study demonstrates the movement of an ingested bolus of solid and/or liquid from the stomach into the small intestine.


  • Diagnosis of functional gastric dysmotility.

Study Description

After an overnight fasting period the patient is taken to the imaging area and fed a radioactive meal consisting of 2 scrambled eggs labeled with Tc-99m Sulfur Colloid, two slices of white bread (generally toasted) with 30g jelly (Strawberry or grape-usually 2 small packets of Smucker’s jelly (Net wt ½ oz (14g)), and 4-6 ounces of water. (If the patient is unable to ingest eggs, oatmeal can be substituted.) Images are taken immediately for 1 ½ hours after ingestion (optional 4 hour protocol).

Examination Time

  • Approximately 2-4 hours (optional 4 hour protocol)
  • Initially 30 minutes for meal preparation and ingestion of test meal
  • 90 minute protocol: 90 minutes of continuous imaging
  • 4 hour protocol: Imaging immediately followed by 1 minute images at 1,2,3, and 4 hours

Patient Preparation

  • Ensure the patient is not pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • NPO (nothing by mouth) for a minimum of 6 hours prior to exam
  • No BARIUM studies for 48 hours prior to exam
  • The study should be done in the morning. Start no later than 10 a.m. because the gastric emptying time varies with the time of day.