Introduction of a radioactive gastrointestinal marker (51CrCl3) into a combined study (75SeHCAT + 58CoB12) of ileal function by whole body counting has been undertaken. The technique was assessed in 23 subjects (15 patients with inflammatory bowel disease, six on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for rheumatoid arthritis, and two normal subjects). Mean (SD) 51CrCl3 retention was only 4.1 (6.0)% on day 4, and was similar on day 7 in subjects given a second dose of 51CrCl3 on day 4. Only one subject had more than 20% of 51CrCl3 retention after four days. A 51CrCl3 correction method adequately corrected for colonic hold up of 58CoB12, when compared with final equilibrium values of 58CoB12 retention. Use of the non-absorbed 58CoB12 fraction as a gastrointestinal marker gave good agreement with the 51CrCl3 method in correcting 75SeHCAT values. In all subjects studied, corrections for colonic retention of 75SeHCAT on day 4, were small (less than 7% of dose) and did not affect the assessment of any subject. In conclusion, an additional gastrointestinal marker such as 51CrCl3 is unnecessary in our combined study since that role can be effected, when indicated by the non-absorbed 58CoB12 fraction.
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