Recent studies suggest that scintigraphy can be used to evaluate non-invasively antral motility in humans, although scintigraphic techniques have not yet been compared with more conventional measurements of intraluminal pressures by manometry. Simultaneous scintigraphic and manometric measurements of antral motility were performed in nine healthy volunteers. After intubation with a sleeve/sidehole catheter which incorporated five pressure sideholes located at 1.5 cm intervals spanning the antrum, each subject ingested 100 g minced beef labelled with 100 MBq 99mTc-chicken liver and 150 ml water. Between 40-43, 60-63, 80-83, and 100-103 minutes after meal ingestion, radioisotopic data were acquired in two second frames. Time-activity curves showing antral 'contractions' resulting from wall motion were derived by drawing small regions of interest over the antrum to coincide with the position of the antral manometric sideholes. Scintigraphic contraction rates approximated 3/minute, whereas antral pressure waves that occluded the lumen were less frequent (p < 0.01 for all), particularly in the proximal antrum. The amplitude of wall motion, evaluated scintigraphically, and the amplitude of pressure waves were both inversely related to the distance from the pylorus (r > -0.32, p < 0.05) and antral volume r > -0.29 (p < 0.05). There were significant relationships between the amplitude of contractions assessed scintigraphically and the number of lumen-occlusive antral pressure waves in the distal antrum (r -0.48, p < 0.05) but not in the more proximal antral regions. It is concluded that scintigraphy can detect antral wall motion with greater sensitivity than manometry, particularly in the proximal antrum. As manometry gives information on the amplitude as well as the temporal and spatial organisation of those contractions which result in lumen occlusion, the combination of scintigraphic and manometric techniques in the evaluation of antral motility shows considerable promise.
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