Gastroparesis Tests

Submitted by Thiruvelan on Thu, 06/24/2010

Radiographic tests, endoscopy, and motility tests are useful to diagnose obstruction, view the stomach lining, and examine muscle contraction patterns.

Gastroparesis diagnosis tests

  • Upper Endoscopy usually requires 10-15 minutes to complete. Upper endoscopy is performed after giving sedative medicine administered intravenously immediately before the test to make the patient drowsy. The doctor will insert a thin flexible tube through the mouth into your stomach. This tube has a camera, which allows the evaluation of upper gastrointestinal tract for ulcers, inflammation, cancers, hernias, or other abnormalities. These conditions can cause symptoms similar to gastroparesis.
  • Perform Ultrasound test to view the shape of gallbladder & pancreas to rule out any gallbladder disease and pancreatitis as sources of the problem.
  • Barium x-ray is carryout after 12 hours of fasting and drinking thick a liquid contains barium, which coats the stomach, making it more visible on the x-ray. In the case of diabetic, doctor may give special instructions for safe fasting. Normally, the stomach should be empty of all food before 12 hours of fasting. However, if the test shows the presence of food, then there are more chances for gastroparesis.

Your doctor once ruled out the other causes then asks for gastric emptying tests to confirm a diagnosis of gastroparesis.

Gastric emptying tests

  • Gastric emptying scintigraphy test involves eating eggs or egg substitute who contains a small amount of a radioactive substance, called a radioisotope that shows up on scans. The scan measures the rate of gastric emptying at one, two, three, and four hours. Gastroparesis is confirmed when more than 10 percent of the meal is still in the stomach at four hours.
  • Gastro duodenal manometry is by inserting a pressure sensitive plastic tube through the throat and into the stomach and small intestine. This pressure-sensitive tube is connecting with a computer that measures the strength, frequency, and coordination of muscle contractions before and after having food. Gastro duodenal manometry can distinguish among different motility disorders.
  • Electrogastrogram monitors and records the electrical signals of the stomach before and after eating that control the muscle contractions in the stomach. In a normal stomach, the electrical rhythm is regular and increases after a food. However, in the case of gastroparesis, the rhythm is irregular and do not increases or become nonexistent after eating.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an imaging technique uses powerful magnet waves to view cross-sectional picture of the body. MRI is useful to diagnose a broad range of conditions, including various cancers. Researchers are studying the use of real-time MRI to help diagnose stomach motility. Unlike other gastroparesis tests, MRI is not invasive and does not expose to the radiation.
  • SmartPill - Swallow a small device in capsule form, approved by the U.S. FDA. The device then moves through the digestive tract and collects information about its progress that is sending information to a receiver worn around your waist or neck. When the capsule leaves the body with the stool in a couple of days, you take the receiver back to the doctor, who enters the information into a computer.