Background and Aims Delayed gastric emptying often occurs in patients with gastroesophageal reflux (GER) due to neurological impairment (NI). The aim of this study was to evaluate gastric emptying of liquids in patients with symptomatic GER using the 13C-acetate breath test (ABT), and to compare the gastric emptying rates with the severity of orthopaedic scoliosis between patients without and with NI.
Methods Sixteen patients were divided into 2 groups; group 1 without NI (6 patients) and group 2 with NI (10 patients). The liquid test meal consisted of RacolTM (5 ml/kg) mixed with 13C-acetate (50 mg for infants, 100 mg for children, and 150 mg for adolescents). Breath samples were collected for 13CO2 measurement before the intake of the meal, every 15 minutes during the first 2 hours after the meal and every 30 minutes thereafter to assess the ingestion of 13C-acetate and RacolTM. 13CO2 was measured using a gas chromatograph-isotope ratio mass spectrometer. The results were expressed as % of 13C expired per hour and cumulative 13C excretion over a 3-hour period. The severity of orthopaedic scoliosis was quantified by Cobb angle.
Results Statistical relations were
age and half excretion time in 13C-ABT (t1/2ex), p=0.0649;
age and groups with or without NI, p=0.00018; age and Cobb angle of scoliosis on plain XP, p=0.0087; and severe Cobb angle ≥ 30 degree and t1/2, p=0.1962.
Conclusion According to 13C-ABT, the delayed gastric emptying in patients with GER due to NI was related to severe orthopaedic scoliosis.
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