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Nuclear Medicine Gastric Emptying Study

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This information was reviewed and approved by Will Cook, ARRT, MA and Eric Yager, ARRT, BS (2/1/2020).

What is a Gastric Emptying Study?

Your doctor has suggested you have a Gastric Emptying Study as part of the evaluation at National Jewish Health. This study shows the emptying time of your stomach.

The Gastric Emptying Study will show if you have slow or rapid emptying of your stomach. Your doctor will use this information to determine the best treatment for you.


How do you get ready for the test?

  • Do not eat or drink after 6 hours prior to the exam.

  • You will not change clothes.

  • You may take medications prior to this test if you are advised by your Doctor.

  • This test takes over 4 hours and images will be made at specific times.

  • Let the technologist know if you are pregnant or nursing.


What is done during the Gastric Emptying Study?

The technologist will explain the Nuclear Medicine Gastric Emptying Study to you. Ask questions if you don’t understand.

You will be given a special meal to eat. Please note that we cannot deviate from this meal due to dietary preferences, e.g. vegan. This meal includes one egg with a small amount of a radioactive tracer (mixed in), 2 slices of toast and a small amount of jam. If you have an allergy to eggs please inform the scheduler. Oatmeal is the only substituted meal used, and this is only used for patients who have an egg allergy (this option does affect the exam results). You will also have 6 ounces of water. You will not be allowed to eat anything else by mouth until this test is completed.

Images will be made at specific times over a 4 hour period.


What should you do after the test?

You can resume normal activities after the Nuclear Medicine Gastric Emptying Study.


How long will the Gastric Emptying Study take?

This test takes over 4 hours to complete.


How do you get to your test?

If you are being seen at National Jewish Health, your appointment is in the Institute for Advanced Biomedical Imaging (Radiology). You will be directed where to go when you check in. If you have any questions, contact us at 303.398.1611.